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Author: William Shakespeare
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Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)


0.1
THE
Tragicall Historie of
HAMLET,
Prince of Denmarke.
.5
By William Shakespeare.
Newly imprinted and enlarged to almost as much
againe as it was, according to the true and perfect
Coppie.
AT LONDON,
.10
Printed by I.R. for N.L. and are to be sold at his
shoppe vnder Saint Dunstons Church in
Fleetstreet. 1605.
The Tragedie of
HAMLET
.15
Prince of Denmarke.
Enter Barnardo, and Francisco, two Centinels.
Bar. VVHose there?
5Fran. Nay answere me. Stand and vnfolde your selfe.
Bar. Long liue the King,
Fran. Barnardo.
Bar. Hee.
10Fran. You come most carefully vpon your houre,
Bar. Tis now strooke twelfe, get thee to bed Francisco,
Fran. For this reliefe much thanks, tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at hart.
Bar. Haue you had quiet guard?
15Fran. Not a mouse stirring.
Bar. Well, good night:
If you doe meete Horatio and Marcellus,
The riualls of my watch, bid them make hast.
Enter Horatio, and Marcellus.
Fran. I thinke I heare them, stand ho, who is there?
20Hora. Friends to this ground.
Mar. And Leedgemen to the Dane,
Fran. Giue you good night.
Mar. O, farwell honest souldiers, who hath relieu'd you?
Fran. Barnardo hath my place; giue you good night.
Exit Fran.
Mar. Holla, Barnardo.
Bar. Say, what is Horatio there?
Hora. A peece of him.
Bar. Welcome Horatio, welcome good Marcellus,
30Hora. What, ha's this thing appeard againe to night?
Bar. I haue seene nothing.
Mar. Horatio saies tis but our fantasie,
And will not let beliefe take holde of him,
Touching this dreaded sight twice seene of vs,
35Therefore I haue intreated him along,
With vs to watch the minuts of this night,
That if againe this apparision come,
He may approoue our eyes and speake to it.
Hora. Tush, tush, twill not appeare.
40Bar. Sit downe a while,
And let vs once againe assaile your eares,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we haue two nights seene.
Hora. Well, sit we downe,
45And let vs heare Barnardo speake of this.
Bar. Last night of all,
When yond same starre thats weastward from the pole,
Had made his course t'illume that part of heauen
Where now it burnes, Marcellus and my selfe
50The bell then beating one.
Enter Ghost.
Mar. Peace, breake thee of, looke where it comes againe.
Bar. In the same figure like the King thats dead.
Mar. Thou art a scholler, speake to it Horatio.
55Bar. Lookes a not like the King? marke it Horatio.
Hora. Most like, it horrowes me with feare and wonder.
Bar. It would be spoke to.
Mar. Speake to it Horatio.
Hora. What art thou that vsurpst this time of night,
60Together with that faire and warlike forme,
In which the Maiestie of buried Denmarke
Did sometimes march, by heauen I charge thee speake.
Mar. It is offended.
Bar. See it staukes away.
Hora. Stay, speake, speake, I charge thee speake.
Exit Ghost.
Mar. Tis gone and will not answere.
Bar. How now Horatio, you tremble and looke pale,
Is not this somthing more then phantasie?
70What thinke you-ont?
Hora. Before my God I might not this belieue,
Without the sencible and true auouch
Of mine owne eies.
Mar. Is it not like the King?
75Hora. As thou art to thy selfe.
Such was the very Armor he had on,
When he the ambitious Norway combated,
So frownd he once, when in an angry parle
He smot the sleaded pollax on the ice.
80Tis strange.
Mar. Thus twice before, and iump at this dead houre,
With martiall stauke hath he gone by our watch.
Hora. In what perticular thought, to worke I know not,
But in the grosse and scope of mine opinion,
85This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
Mar. Good now sit downe, and tell me he that knowes,
Why this same strikt and most obseruant watch
So nightly toiles the subiect of the land,
And with such dayly cost of brazon Cannon
90And forraine marte, for implements of warre,
Why such impresse of ship-writes, whose sore taske
Does not deuide the Sunday from the weeke,
What might be toward that this sweaty hast
Doth make the night ioynt labourer with the day,
95Who ist that can informe mee?
Hora. That can I.
At least the whisper goes so; our last King,
Whose image euen but now appear'd to vs,
Was as you knowe by Fortinbrasse of Norway,
100Thereto prickt on by a most emulate pride
Dar'd to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet,
(For so this side of our knowne world esteemd him)
Did slay this Fortinbrasse, who by a seald compact
Well ratified by lawe and heraldy
105Did forfait (with his life) all these his lands
Which he stood seaz'd of, to the conquerour.
Against the which a moitie competent
Was gaged by our King, which had returne
To the inheritance of Fortinbrasse,
110Had he bin vanquisher; as by the same comart,
And carriage of the article desseigne,
His fell to Hamlet; now Sir, young Fortinbrasse
Of vnimprooued mettle, hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway heere and there
115Sharkt vp a list of lawelesse resolutes
For foode and diet to some enterprise
That hath a stomacke in't, which is no other
As it doth well appeare vnto our state
But to recouer of vs by strong hand
120And tearmes compulsatory, those foresaid lands
So by his father lost; and this I take it,
Is the maine motiue of our preparations
The source of this our watch, and the chiefe head
Of this post hast and Romeage in the land.
124.1Bar. I thinke it be no other, but enso;
Well may it sort that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch so like the King
That was and is the question of these warres.
.5Hora. A moth it is to trouble the mindes eye:
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Iulius fell
The graues stood tennatlesse, and the sheeted dead
Did squeake and gibber in the Roman streets
.10As starres with traines of fier, and dewes of blood
Disasters in the sunne; and the moist starre,
Vpon whose influence Neptunes Empier stands,
Was sicke almost to doomesday with eclipse.
And euen the like precurse of feare euents
.15As harbindgers preceading still the fates
And prologue to the Omen comming on
Haue heauen and earth together demonstrated
Vnto our Climatures and countrymen.
125
Enter Ghost
.
But soft, behold, loe where it comes againe
Ile crosse it though it blast mee: stay illusion,
It spreads
If thou hast any sound or vse of voyce,
Speake to me, if there be any good thing to be done
130That may to thee doe ease, and grace to mee,
Speake to me.
If thou art priuie to thy countries fate
Which happily foreknowing may auoyd
O speake:
Or if thou hast vphoorded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the wombe of earth
135For which they say your spirits oft walke in death.
The cocke
Speake of it, stay and speake, stop it Marcellus.
Mar. Shall I strike it with my partizan?
Hor. Doe if it will not stand.
Bar. Tis heere.
140Hor. Tis heere.
Mar. Tis gone.
We doe it wrong being so Maiesticall
To offer it the showe of violence,
For it is as the ayre, invulnerable,
145And our vaine blowes malicious mockery.
Bar. It was about to speake when the cock crewe.
Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing,
Vpon a fearefull summons; I haue heard,
The Cock that is the trumpet to the morne,
150Doth with his lofty and shrill sounding throat
Awake the God of day, and at his warning
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or ayre
Th'extrauagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine, and of the truth heerein
155This present obiect made probation.
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the Cock.
Some say that euer gainst that season comes
Wherein our Sauiours birth is celebrated
This bird of dawning singeth all night long,
160And then they say no spirit dare sturre abraode
The nights are wholsome, then no plannets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charme
So hallowed, and so gratious is that time.
Hora. So haue I heard and doe in part belieue it,
165But looke the morne in russet mantle clad
Walkes ore the dewe of yon high Eastward hill
Breake we our watch vp and by my aduise
Let vs impart what we haue seene to night
Vnto young Hamlet, for vppon my life
170This spirit dumb to vs, will speake to him:
Doe you consent we shall acquaint him with it
As needfull in our loues, fitting our duty.
Mar. Lets doo't I pray, and I this morning knowe
Where we shall find him most conuenient.
Exeunt.
175
Florish. Enter Claudius, King of Denmarke, Gertrad theQueene,
Counsaile: as Polonius, and his Sonne Laertes,
Hamlet, Cum Alijs.
Claud. Though yet of Hamlet our deare brothers death
180The memorie be greene, and that it vs befitted
To beare our harts in griefe, and our whole Kingdome,
To be contracted in one browe of woe
Yet so farre hath discretion fought with nature,
That we with wisest sorrowe thinke on him
185Together with remembrance of our selues:
Therefore our sometime Sister, now our Queene
Th'imperiall ioyntresse to this warlike state
Haue we as twere with a defeated ioy
With an auspitious, and a dropping eye,
190With mirth in funerall, and with dirdge in marriage,
In equall scale waighing delight and dole
Taken to wife: nor haue we heerein bard
Your better wisdomes, which haue freely gone
With this affaire along (for all our thankes)
195Now followes that you knowe young Fortinbrasse,
Holding a weake supposall of our worth
Or thinking by our late deare brothers death
Our state to be disioynt, and out of frame
Coleagued with this dreame of his aduantage
200He hath not faild to pestur vs with message
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bands of lawe
To our most valiant brother, so much for him:
205Now for our selfe, and for this time of meeting,
Thus much the busines is, we haue heere writ
To Norway Vncle of young Fortenbrasse
Who impotent and bedred scarcely heares
Of this his Nephewes purpose; to suppresse
210His further gate heerein, in that the leuies,
The lists, and full proportions are all made
Out of his subiect, and we heere dispatch
You good Cornelius, and you Valtemand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway,
215Giuing to you no further personall power
To busines with the King, more then the scope
Of these delated articles allowe:
Farwell, and let your hast commend your dutie.
Cor. Vo. In that, and all things will we showe our dutie.
220King. We doubt it nothing, hartely farwell.
And now Laertes whats the newes with you?
You told vs of some sute, what ist Laertes?
You cannot speake of reason to the Dane
225And lose your voyce; what wold'st thou begge Laertes,?
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking,
The head is not more natiue to the hart
The hand more instrumentall to the mouth
Then is the throne of Denmarke to thy father,
230What would'st thou haue Laertes?
Laer. My dread Lord,
Your leaue and fauour to returne to Fraunce,
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmarke,
To showe my dutie in your Coronation;
235Yet now I must confesse, that duty done
My thoughts and wishes bend againe toward Fraunce
And bowe them to your gracious leaue and pardon.
King. Haue you your fathers leaue, what saies Polonius?
240Polo. Hath my Lord wroung from me my slowe leaue
240.1By laboursome petition, and at last
Vpon his will I seald my hard consent,
I doe beseech you giue him leaue to goe.
King. Take thy faire houre Laertes, time be thine
And thy best graces spend it at thy will:
But now my Cosin Hamlet, and my sonne.
245Ham. A little more then kin, and lesse then kind.
King. How is it that the clowdes still hang on you.
Ham. Not so much my Lord, I am too much in the sonne.
Queene. Good Hamlet cast thy nighted colour off
And let thine eye looke like a friend on Denmarke,
250Doe not for euer with thy vailed lids
Seeke for thy noble Father in the dust,
Thou know'st tis common all that liues must die,
Passing through nature to eternitie.
Ham. I Maddam, it is common.
255Quee. If it be
VVhy seemes it so perticuler with thee.
Ham. Seemes Maddam, nay it is, I know not seemes,
Tis not alone my incky cloake coold mother
Nor customary suites of solembe blacke
260Nor windie suspiration of forst breath
No, nor the fruitfull riuer in the eye,
Nor the deiected hauior of the visage
Together with all formes, moodes, chapes of griefe
That can deuote me truely, these indeede seeme,
265For they are actions that a man might play
But I haue that within which passes showe
These but the trappings and the suites of woe.
King. Tis sweete and commendable in your nature Hamlet,
270To giue these mourning duties to your father
But you must knowe your father lost a father,
That father lost, lost his, and the suruiuer bound
In filliall obligation for some tearme
To doe obsequious sorrowe, but to perseuer
275In obstinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornes, tis vnmanly griefe,
It showes a will most incorrect to heauen
A hart vnfortified, or minde impatient
An vnderstanding simple and vnschoold
280For what we knowe must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sence,
Why should we in our peuish opposition
Take it to hart, fie, tis a fault to heauen,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
285To reason most absurd, whose common theame
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cryed
From the first course, till he that died to day
This must be so: we pray you throw to earth
This vnpreuailing woe, and thinke of vs
290As of a father, for let the world take note
You are the most imediate to our throne,
And with no lesse nobilitie of loue
Then that which dearest father beares his sonne,
Doe I impart toward you for your intent
295In going back to schoole in Wittenberg,
It is most retrogard to our desire,
And we beseech you bend you to remaine
Heere in the cheare and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cosin, and our sonne.
300Quee. Let not thy mother loose her prayers Hamlet,
I pray thee stay with vs, goe not to Wittenberg.
Ham. I shall in all my best obay you Madam.
King. Why tis a louing and a faire reply,
305Be as our selfe in Denmarke, Madam come,
This gentle and vnforc'd accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my hart, in grace whereof,
No iocond health that Denmarke drinkes to day,
But the great Cannon to the cloudes shall tell.
310And the Kings rowse the heauen shall brute againe,
Respeaking earthly thunder; come away.
Florish.
Exeunt all,
Ham. O that this too too sallied flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolue it selfe into a dewe,
315Or that the euerlasting had not fixt
His cannon gainst seale slaughter, ô God, God,
How wary, stale, flat, and vnprofitable
Seeme to me all the vses of this world?
Fie on't, ah fie, tis an vnweeded garden
320That growes to seede, things rancke and grose in nature,
Possesse it meerely that it should come thus
But two months dead, nay not so much, not two,
So excellent a King, that was to this
Hiperion to a satire, so louing to my mother,
325That he might not beteeme the winds of heauen
Visite her face too roughly, heauen and earth
Must I remember, why she should hang on him
As if increase of appetite had growne
By what it fed on, and yet within a month,
330Let me not thinke on't; frailty thy name is woman
A little month or ere those shooes were old
With which she followed my poore fathers bodie
Like Niobe all teares, why she
O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason
335Would haue mourn'd longer, married with my Vncle,
My fathers brother, but no more like my father
Then I to Hercules, within a month,
Ere yet the salt of most vnrighteous teares,
Had left the flushing in her gauled eyes
340She married, ô most wicked speede; to post
With such dexteritie to incestious sheets,
It is not, nor it cannot come to good,
But breake my hart, for I must hold my tongue.
Enter Horatio,Marcellus, and Bernardo.
345Hora. Haile to your Lordship.
Ham. I am glad to see you well; Horatio, or I do forget my selfe.
Hora. The same my Lord, and your poore seruant euer.
350Ham. Sir my good friend, Ile change that name with you,
And what make you from WittenbergHoratio?
Marcellus.
Mar. My good Lord.
355Ham. I am very glad to see you, (good euen sir)
But what in faith make you from Wittenberg?
Hora. A truant disposition good my Lord.
Ham. I would not heare your enimie say so,
Nor shall you doe my eare that violence
360To make it truster of your owne report
Against your selfe, I knowe you are no truant,
But what is your affaire in Elsonoure?
Weele teach you for to drinke ere you depart.
Hora. My Lord, I came to see your fathers funerall.
365Ham. I pre thee doe not mocke me fellowe studient,
I thinke it was to my mothers wedding.
Hora. Indeede my Lord it followed hard vppon.
Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funerall bak't meates
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables,
370Would I had met my dearest foe in heauen
Or euer I had seene that day Horatio,
My father, me thinkes I see my father.
Hora. Where my Lord?
Ham. In my mindes eye Horatio.
375Hora. I saw him once, a was a goodly King.
Ham. A was a man take him for all in all
I shall not looke vppon his like againe.
Hora. My Lord I thinke I saw him yesternight.
Ham. saw, who?
380Hora. My Lord the King your father.
Ham. The King my father?
Hora. Season your admiration for a while
With an attent eare till I may deliuer
Vppon the witnes of these gentlemen
385This maruile to you.
Ham. For Gods loue let me heare?
Hora. Two nights together had these gentlemen
Marcellus, and Barnardo, on their watch
In the dead wast and middle of the night
390Beene thus incountred, a figure like your father
Armed at poynt, exactly Capapea
Appeares before them, and with solemne march,
Goes slowe and stately by them; thrice he walkt
By their opprest and feare surprised eyes
395Within his tronchions length, whil'st they distil'd
Almost to gelly, with the act of feare
Stand dumbe and speake not to him; this to me
In dreadfull secresie impart they did,
And I with them the third night kept the watch,
400Whereas they had deliuered both in time
Forme of the thing, each word made true and good,
The Apparision comes: I knewe your father,
These hands are not more like.
Ham. But where was this?
405Mar. My Lord vppon the platforme where we watch
Ham. Did you not speake to it?
Hora. My Lord I did,
But answere made it none, yet once me thought
It lifted vp it head, and did addresse
410It selfe to motion like as it would speake:
But euen then the morning Cock crewe loude,
And at the sound it shrunk in hast away
And vanisht from our sight.
Ham. Tis very strange.
415Hora. As I doe liue my honor'd Lord tis true
And we did thinke it writ downe in our dutie
To let you knowe of it.
Ham. Indeede Sirs but this troubles me,
Hold you the watch to night?
420All. We doe my Lord.
Ham. Arm'd say you?
All. Arm'd my Lord.
Ham. From top to toe?
All. My Lord from head to foote.
425Ham. Then sawe you not his face.
Hora. O yes my Lord, he wore his beauer vp.
Ham. What look't he frowningly?
Hora. A countenance more in sorrow then in anger.
Ham. Pale, or red?
430Hora. Nay very pale.
Ham. And fixt his eyes vpon you?
Hora. Most constantly.
Ham. I would I had beene there.
Hora. It would haue much a maz'd you.
435Ham. Very like, stayd it long?
Hora. While one with moderate hast might tell a hundreth.
Both. Longer, longer.
Hora. Not when I saw't.
Ham. His beard was grissl'd, no.
440Hora. It was as I haue seene it in his life
A sable siluer'd.
Ham. I will watch to nigh
Perchaunce twill walke againe.
Hora. I warn't it will.
Ham. If it assume my noble fathers person,
445Ile speake to it though hell it selfe should gape
And bid me hold my peace; I pray you all
If you haue hetherto conceald this sight
Let it be tenable in your silence still,
And what someuer els shall hap to night,
450Giue it an vnderstanding but no tongue,
I will requite your loues, so farre you well:
Vppon the platforme twixt a leauen and twelfe
Ile visite you.
All. Our dutie to your honor.
Exeunt.
455Ham. Your loues, as mine to you, farwell.
My fathers spirit (in armes) all is not well,
I doubt some foule play, would the night were come,
Till then sit still my soule, fonde deedes will rise
Though all the earth ore-whelme them to mens eyes.
Exit.
Enter Laertes, and Ophelia his Sister.
Laer. My necessaries are inbarckt, farwell,
And sister, as the winds giue benefit
And conuay, in assistant doe not sleepe
465But let me heere from you.
Ophe. Doe you doubt that?
Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his fauour,
Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood
A Violet in the youth of primy nature,
470Forward, not permanent, sweete, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute
No more.
Ophe. No more but so.
Laer. Thinke it no more.
For nature cressant does not growe alone
475In thewes and bulkes, but as this temple waxes
The inward seruice of the minde and soule
Growes wide withall, perhapes he loues you now,
And now no soyle nor cautell doth besmirch
The vertue of his will, but you must feare,
His greatnes wayd, his will is not his owne,
He may not as vnualewed persons doe,
Carue for himselfe, for on his choise depends
The safty and health of this whole state,
485And therefore must his choise be circumscribd
Vnto the voyce and yeelding of that body
Whereof he is the head, then if he saies he loues you,
It fits your wisdome so farre to belieue it
As he in his particuler act and place
490May giue his saying deede, which is no further
Then the maine voyce of Denmarke goes withall.
Then way what losse your honor may sustaine
If with too credent eare you list his songs
Or loose your hart, or your chast treasure open
495To his vnmastred importunity.
Feare it Ophelia, feare it my deare sister,
And keepe you in the reare of your affection
Out of the shot and danger of desire,
"The chariest maide is prodigall inough
500If she vnmaske her butie to the Moone
"Vertue it selfe scapes not calumnious strokes
"The canker gaules the infants of the spring
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd,
And in the morne and liquid dewe of youth
505Contagious blastments are most iminent,
Be wary then, best safety lies in feare,
Youth to it selfe rebels, though non els neare.
Ophe. I shall the effect of this good lesson keepe
As watchman to my hart, but good my brother
510Doe not as some vngracious pastors doe,
Showe me the stepe and thorny way to heauen
Whiles a puft, and reckles libertine
Himselfe the primrose path of dalience treads.
And reakes not his owne reed.
Enter Polonius.
515Laer. O feare me not,
I stay too long, but heere my father comes
A double blessing, is a double grace,
Occasion smiles vpon a second leaue.
520Pol. Yet heere Laertes? a bord, a bord for shame,
The wind sits in the shoulder of your saile,
And you are stayed for, there my blessing with thee,
And these fewe precepts in thy memory
Looke thou character, giue thy thoughts no tongue,
525Nor any vnproportion'd thought his act,
Be thou familier, but by no meanes vulgar,
Those friends thou hast, and their a doption tried,
Grapple them vnto thy soule with hoopes of steele,
But doe not dull thy palme with entertainment
530Of each new hatcht vnfledgd courage, beware
Of entrance to a quarrell, but being in,
Bear't that th'opposed may beware of thee,
Giue euery man thy eare, but fewe thy voyce,
Take each mans censure, but reserue thy iudgement,
535Costly thy habite as thy purse can by,
But not exprest in fancy; rich not gaudy,
For the apparrell oft proclaimes the man
And they in Fraunce of the best ranck and station,
Or of a most select and generous, chiefe in that:
540Neither a borrower nor a lender boy,
For loue oft looses both it selfe, and friend,
And borrowing dulleth edge of husbandry;
This aboue all, to thine owne selfe be true
And it must followe as the night the day
545Thou canst not then be false to any man:
Farwell, my blessing season this in thee.
Laer. Most humbly doe I take my leaue my Lord.
Pol. The time inuests you goe, your seruants tend.
Laer. Farwell Ophelia, and remember well
550What I haue sayd to you.
Ophe. Tis in my memory lockt
And you your selfe shall keepe the key of it.
Laer. Farwell.
Exit Laertes.
Pol. What ist Ophelia he hath sayd to you?
555Ophe. So please you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.
Pol. Marry well bethought
Tis tolde me he hath very oft of late
Giuen priuate time to you, and you your selfe
Haue of your audience beene most free and bountious,
560If it be so, as so tis put on me,
And that in way of caution, I must tell you,
You doe not vnderstand your selfe so cleerely
As it behooues my daughter, and your honor,
What is betweene you giue me vp the truth,
565Ophe. He hath my Lord of late made many tenders
Of his affection to me.
Pol. Affection, puh, you speake like a greene girle
Vnsifted in such perrilous circumstance,
Doe you belieue his tenders as you call them?
570Ophe. I doe not knowe my Lord what I should thinke.
Pol. Marry I will teach you, thinke your selfe a babie
That you haue tane these tenders for true pay
Which are not sterling, tender your selfe more dearely
Or (not to crack the winde of the poore phrase
575Wrong it thus) you'l tender me a foole.
Ophe. My Lord he hath importun'd me with loue
In honorable fashion.
Pol. I, fashion you may call it, go to, go to.
Ophe. And hath giuen countenance to his speech
580My Lord, with almost all the holy vowes of heauen.
Pol. I, springs to catch wood-cockes, I doe knowe
When the blood burnes, how prodigall the soule
Lends the tongue vowes, these blazes daughter
Giuing more light then heate, extinct in both
585Euen in their promise, as it is a making
You must not take for fire, from this time
Be something scanter of your maiden presence
Set your intreatments at a higher rate
Then a commaund to parle; for Lord Hamlet,
590Belieue so much in him that he is young,
And with a larger tider may he walke
Then may be giuen you: in fewe Ophelia,
Doe not belieue his vowes, for they are brokers
Not of that die which their inuestments showe
595But meere imploratotors of vnholy suites
Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds
The better to beguide: this is for all,
I would not in plaine tearmes from this time foorth
Haue you so slaunder any moment leasure
600As to giue words or talke with the Lord Hamlet,
Looke too't I charge you, come your wayes.
Ophe. I shall obey my Lord.
Exeunt.
Enter Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus.
Ham. The ayre bites shroudly, it is very colde.
605Hora. It is nipping, and an eager ayre.
Ham. What houre now?
Hora. I thinke it lackes of twelfe.
Mar. No, it is strooke.
Hora. Indeede; I heard it not, it then drawes neere the season,
610Wherein the spirit held his wont to walke
A florish of trumpets
What does this meane my Lord?
Ham. The King doth wake to night and takes his rowse.
Keepes wassell and the swaggring vp-spring reeles:
And as he draines his drafts of Rennish downe,
615The kettle drumme, and trumpet, thus bray out
The triumph of his pledge.
Hora. Is it a custome?
Ham. I marry ist,
But to my minde, though I am natiue heere
620And to the manner borne, it is a custome
More honourd in the breach, then the obseruance.
621.1This heauy headed reueale east and west
Makes vs tradust, and taxed of other nations,
They clip vs drunkards, and with Swinish phrase
Soyle our addition, and indeede it takes
.5From our atchieuements, though perform'd at height
The pith and marrow of our attribute,
So oft it chaunces in particuler men,
That for some vicious mole of nature in them
As in their birth wherein they are not guilty,
.10(Since nature cannot choose his origin)
By their ore-grow'th of some complextion
Oft breaking downe the pales and forts of reason,
Or by some habit, that too much ore-leauens
The forme of plausiue manners, that these men
.15Carrying I say the stamp of one defect
Being Natures liuery, or Fortunes starre,
His vertues els be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may vndergoe,
Shall in the generall censure take corruption
.20From that particuler fault: the dram of eale
Doth all the noble substance of a doubt
To his owne scandle.
Enter Ghost.
Hora. Looke my Lord it comes.
Ham. Angels and Ministers of grace defend vs:
625Be thou a spirit of health, or gobl
in damn'd,
Bring with thee ayres from heauen, or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked, or charitable,
Thou com'st in such a questionable shape,
That I will speake to thee, Ile call thee Hamlet,
630King, father, royall Dane, ô answere mee,
Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell
Why thy canoniz'd bones hearsed in death
Haue burst their cerements? why the Sepulcher,
Wherein we saw thee quietly interr'd
635Hath op't his ponderous and marble iawes,
To cast thee vp againe? what may this meane
That thou dead corse, againe in compleat steele
Reuisites thus the glimses of the Moone,
Making night hideous, and we fooles of nature
640So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our soules,
Say why is this, wherefore, what should we doe?
Beckins.
Hora. It beckins you to goe away with it
645As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone.
Mar. Looke with what curteous action
It waues you to a more remooued ground,
But doe not goe with it.
650Hora. No, by no meanes.
Ham. It will not speake, then I will followe it.
Hora. Doe not my Lord.
Ham. Why what should be the feare,
I doe not set my life at a pinnes fee,
655And for my soule, what can it doe to that
Being a thing immortall as it selfe;
It waues me forth againe, Ile followe it.
Hora. What if it tempt you toward the flood my Lord,
Or to the dreadfull somnet of the cleefe
660That bettles ore his base into the sea,
And there assume some other horrable forme
Which might depriue your soueraigntie of reason,
And draw you into madnes, thinke of it,
663.1The very place puts toyes of desperation
Without more motiue, into euery braine
That lookes so many fadoms to the sea
And heares it rore beneath.
Ham. It waues me still,
Goe on, Ile followe thee.
665Mar. You shall not goe my Lord.
Ham. Hold of your hands.
Hora. Be rul'd, you shall not goe.
Ham. My fate cries out
And makes each petty arture in this body
670As hardy as the Nemeon Lyons nerue;
Still am I cald, vnhand me Gentlemen
By heauen Ile make a ghost of him that lets me,
I say away, goe on, Ile followe thee.
Exit Ghost and Hamlet.
675Hora. He waxes desperate with imagion.
Mar. Lets followe, tis not fit thus to obey him.
Hora. Haue after, to what issue will this come?
Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Denmarke.
Hora. Heauen will direct it.
680Mar. Nay lets follow him.
Exeunt.
Enter Ghost, and Hamlet.
Ham. Whether wilt thou leade me, speake, Ile goe no further.
Ghost. Marke me.
Ham. I will.
685Ghost. My houre is almost come
When I to sulphrus and tormenting flames
Must render vp my selfe.
Ham. Alas poore Ghost.
Ghost. Pitty me not, but lend thy serious hearing
690To what I shall vnfold.
Ham. Speake, I am bound to heare.
Ghost. So art thou to reuenge, when thou shalt heare.
Ham. What?
Ghost. I am thy fathers spirit,
695Doomd for a certaine tearme to walke the night,
And for the day confind to fast in fires,
Till the foule crimes done in my dayes of nature
Are burnt and purg'd away: but that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison house,
700I could a tale vnfolde whose lightest word
Would harrow vp thy soule, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particuler haire to stand an end,
705Like quils vpon the fearefull Porpentine,
But this eternall blazon must not be
To eares of flesh and blood, list, list, ô list:
If thou did'st euer thy deare father loue.
Ham. O God.
710Ghost. Reuenge his foule, and most vnnaturall murther.
Ham. Murther.
Ghost. Murther most foule, as in the best it is,
But this most foule, strange and vnnaturall.
Ham. Hast me to know't, that I with wings as swift
As meditation, or the thoughts of loue
May sweepe to my reuenge.
Ghost. I find thee apt,
And duller shouldst thou be then the fat weede
720That rootes it selfe in ease on Lethe wharffe,
Would'st thou not sturre in this; now Hamlet heare,
Tis giuen out, that sleeping in my Orchard,
A Serpent stung me, so the whole eare of Denmarke
Is by a forged processe of my death
725Ranckely abusde: but knowe thou noble Youth,
The Serpent that did sting thy fathers life
Now weares his Crowne.
Ham. O my propheticke soule! my Vncle?
Ghost. I that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
730With witchcraft of his wits, with trayterous gifts,
O wicked wit, and giftes that haue the power
So to seduce; wonne to his shamefull lust
The will of my most seeming vertuous Queene;
O Hamlet, what falling off was there
735From me whose loue was of that dignitie
That it went hand in hand, euen with the vowe
I made to her in marriage, and to decline
Vppon a wretch whose naturall gifts were poore,
To those of mine; but vertue as it neuer will be mooued,
740Though lewdnesse court it in a shape of heauen
So but though to a radiant Angle linckt,
Will sort it selfe in a celestiall bed
And pray on garbage.
But soft, me thinkes I sent the morning ayre,
Briefe let me be; sleeping within my Orchard,
745My custome alwayes of the afternoone,
Vpon my secure houre, thy Vncle stole
With iuyce of cursed Hebona in a viall,
And in the porches of my eares did poure
The leaprous distilment, whose effect
750Holds such an enmitie with blood of man,
That swift as quicksiluer it courses through
The naturall gates and allies of the body,
And with a sodaine vigour it doth possesse
And curde like eager droppings into milke,
755The thin and wholsome blood; so did it mine,
And a most instant tetter barckt about
Most Lazerlike with vile and lothsome crust
All my smooth body.
Thus was I sleeping by a brothers hand,
760Of life, of Crowne, of Queene at once dispatcht,
Cut off euen in the blossomes of my sinne,
Vnhuzled, disappointed, vnanueld,
No reckning made, but sent to my account
Withall my imperfections on my head,
765O horrible, ô horrible, most horrible.
If thou hast nature in thee beare it not,
Let not the royall bed of Denmarke be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But howsomeuer thou pursues this act,
770Tain't not thy minde, nor let thy soule contriue
Against thy mother ought, leaue her to heauen,
And to those thornes that in her bosome lodge
To prick and sting her, fare thee well at once,
The Gloworme shewes the matine to be neere
775And gins to pale his vneffectuall fire,
Adiew, adiew, adiew, remember me.
Ham. O all you host of heauen, ô earth, what els,
And shall I coupple hell, ô fie, hold, hold my hart,
And you my sinnowes, growe not instant old,
780But beare me swiftly vp; remember thee,
I thou poore Ghost whiles memory holds a seate
In this distracted globe, remember thee,
Yea, from the table of my memory
Ile wipe away all triuiall fond records,
785All sawes of bookes, all formes, all pressures past
That youth and obseruation coppied there,
And thy commandement all alone shall liue,
Within the booke and volume of my braine
Vnmixt with baser matter, yes by heauen,
790O most pernicious woman.
O villaine, villaine, smiling damned villaine,
My tables, meet it is I set it downe
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villaine,
At least I am sure it may be so in Denmarke.
795So Vncle, there you are, now to my word,
It is adew, adew, remember me.
I haue sworn't.
Enter Horatio, and Marcellus.
Hora. My Lord, my Lord.
Mar. Lord Hamlet.
800Hora. Heauens secure him.
Ham. So be it.
Mar. Illo, ho, ho, my Lord.
Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy come, and come.
Mar. How i'st my noble Lord?
805Hora. What newes my Lord?
Ham. O, wonderfull.
Hora. Good my Lord tell it.
Ham. No, you will reueale it.
Hora. Not I my Lord by heauen.
810Mar. Nor I my Lord.
Ham. How say you then, would hart of man once thinke it,
But you'le be secret.
Booth. I by heauen.
Ham. There's neuer a villaine,
Dwelling in all Denmarke
815But hee's an arrant knaue.
Hora. There needes no Ghost my Lord, come from the graue
To tell vs this.
Ham. Why right, you are in the right,
And so without more circumstance at all
820I hold it fit that we shake hands and part,
You, as your busines and desire shall poynt you,
For euery man hath busines and desire
Such as it is, and for my owne poore part
I will goe pray.
825Hora. These are but wilde and whurling words my Lord.
Ham. I am sorry they offend you hartily,
Yes faith hartily.
Hora. There's no offence my Lord.
Ham. Yes by Saint Patrick but there is Horatio,
830And much offence to, touching this vision heere,
It is an honest Ghost that let me tell you,
For your desire to knowe what is betweene vs
Oremastret as you may, and now good friends,
As you are friends, schollers, and souldiers,
835Giue me one poore request.
Hora. What i'st my Lord, we will.
Ham. Neuer make knowne what you haue seene to night.
Booth. My Lord we will not.
Ham. Nay but swear't.
840Hora. In faith my Lord not I.
Mar. Nor I my Lord in faith.
Ham. Vppon my sword.
Mar. We haue sworne my Lord already.
Ham. Indeede vppon my sword, indeed.
845
Ghost cries vnder the Stage.
Ghost. Sweare.
Ham. Ha, ha, boy, say'st thou so, art thou there trupenny?
Come on, you heare this fellowe in the Sellerige,
Consent to sweare.
Hora. Propose the oath my Lord.
850Ham. Neuer to speake of this that you haue seene
Sweare by my sword.
Ghost. Sweare.
Ham. Hic, & vbique, then weele shift our ground:
Come hether Gentlemen
855And lay your hands againe vpon my sword,
Sweare by my sword
Neuer to speake of this that you haue heard.
Ghost. Sweare by his sword.
Ham. Well sayd olde Mole, can'st worke it'h earth so fast,
860A worthy Pioner, once more remooue good friends.
Hora. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange.
Ham. And therefore as a stranger giue it welcome,
There are more things in heauen and earth Horatio
Then are dream't of in your philosophie, but come
865Heere as before, neuer so helpe you mercy,
(How strange or odde so mere I beare my selfe,
As I perchance heereafter shall thinke meet,
To put an Anticke disposition on
That you at such times seeing me, neuer shall
870With armes incombred thus, or this head shake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtfull phrase,
As well, well, we knowe, or we could and if we would,
Or if we list to speake, or there be and if they might,
Or such ambiguous giuing out, to note)
875That you knowe ought of me, this doe sweare,
So grace and mercy at your most neede helpe you.
Ghost. Sweare.
Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit: so Gentlemen,
880Withall my loue I doe commend me to you,
And what so poore a man as Hamlet is,
May doe t'expresse his loue and frending to you
God willing shall not lack, let vs goe in together,
And still your fingers on your lips I pray,
885The time is out of ioynt, ô cursed spight
That euer I was borne to set it right.
Nay come, lets goe together.
Exeunt.
Enter old Polonius, with his man or two.
890Pol. Giue him this money, and these notes Reynaldo.
Rey. I will my Lord.
Pol. You shall doe meruiles wisely good Reynaldo,
Before you visite him, to make inquire
Of his behauiour.
895Rey. My Lord, I did intend it.
Pol. Mary well said, very well said; looke you sir,
Enquire me first what Danskers are in Parris,
And how, and who, what meanes, and where they keepe,
900What companie, at what expence, and finding
By this encompasment, and drift of question
That they doe know my sonne, come you more neerer
Then your perticuler demaunds will tuch it,
Take you as t'were some distant knowledge of him,
905As thus, I know his father, and his friends,
And in part him, doe you marke this Reynaldo?
Rey. I, very well my Lord.
Pol. And in part him, but you may say, not well,
But y'ft be he I meane, hee's very wilde,
910Adicted so and so, and there put on him
What forgeries you please, marry none so ranck
As may dishonour him, take heede of that,
But sir, such wanton, wild, and vsuall slips,
As are companions noted and most knowne
915To youth and libertie.
Rey. As gaming my Lord.
Pol. I, or drinking, fencing, swearing,
Quarrelling, drabbing, you may goe so far.
Rey. My Lord, that would dishonour him.
920Pol. Fayth as you may season it in the charge.
You must not put another scandell on him,
That he is open to incontinencie,
That's not my meaning, but breath his faults so quently
That they may seeme the taints of libertie,
925The flash and out-breake of a fierie mind,
A sauagenes in vnreclamed blood,
Of generall assault.
Rey. But my good Lord.
Pol. Wherefore should you doe this?
Rey. I my Lord, I would know that.
930Pol. Marry sir, heer's my drift,
And I belieue it is a fetch of wit,
You laying these slight sallies on my sonne
As t'were a thing a little soyld with working,
Marke you, your partie in conuerse, him you would sound
935Hauing euer seene in the prenominat crimes
The youth you breath of guiltie, be assur'd
He closes with you in this consequence,
Good sir, (or so,) or friend, or gentleman,
According to the phrase, or the addistion
940Of man and country.
Rey. Very good my Lord.
Pol. And then sir doos a this, a doos, what was I about to say?
By the masse I was about to say something,
Where did I leaue?
945Rey. At closes in the consequence.
Pol. At closes in the consequence, I marry,
He closes thus, I know the gentleman,
I saw him yesterday, or th'other day,
950Or then, or then, with such or such, and as you say,
There was a gaming there, or tooke in's rowse,
There falling out at Tennis, or perchance
I saw him enter such a house of sale,
Videlizet, a brothell, or so foorth, see you now,
955Your bait of falshood take this carpe of truth,
And thus doe we of wisedome, and of reach,
With windlesses, and with assaies of bias,
By indirections find directions out,
So by my former lecture and aduise
960Shall you my sonne; you haue me, haue you not?
Rey. My Lord, I haue.
Pol. God buy ye, far ye well.
Rey. Good my Lord.
Pol. Obserue his inclination in your selfe.
965Rey. I shall my Lord.
Pol. And let him ply his musique.
Rey. Well my Lord.
Exit Rey.
Enter Ophelia.
Pol. Farewell. How now Ophelia, whats the matter?
Oph. O my Lord, my Lord, I haue beene so affrighted,
Pol. With what i'th name of God?
Ophe. My Lord, as I was sowing in my closset,
Lord Hamlet with his doublet all vnbrac'd,
975No hat vpon his head, his stockins fouled,
Vngartred, and downe gyued to his ancle,
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
And with a looke so pittious in purport
As if he had been loosed out of hell
980To speake of horrors, he comes before me.
Pol. Mad for thy loue?
Oph. My lord I doe not know,
But truly I doe feare it.
Pol. What said he?
Oph. He tooke me by the wrist, and held me hard,
985Then goes he to the length of all his arme,
And with his other hand thus ore his brow,
He falls to such perusall of my face
As a would draw it, long stayd he so,
At last, a little shaking of mine arme,
990And thrice his head thus wauing vp and downe,
He raisd a sigh so pittious and profound
As it did seeme to shatter all his bulke,
And end his beeing; that done, he lets me goe,
And with his head ouer his shoulder turn'd
995Hee seem'd to find his way without his eyes,
For out adoores he went without theyr helps,
And to the last bended their light on me.
Pol. Come, goe with mee, I will goe seeke the King,
This is the very extacie of loue,
1000Whose violent propertie fordoos it selfe,
And leades the will to desperat vndertakings
As oft as any passions vnder heauen
That dooes afflict our natures: I am sorry,
What, haue you giuen him any hard words of late?
1005Oph. No my good Lord, but as you did commaund
I did repell his letters, and denied
His accesse to me.
Pol. That hath made him mad.
I am sorry, that with better heede and iudgement
1010I had not coted him, I fear'd he did but trifle
And meant to wrack thee, but beshrow my Ielousie:
By heauen it is as proper to our age
To cast beyond our selues in our opinions,
As it is common for the younger sort
1015To lack discretion; come, goe we to the King,
This must be knowne, which beeing kept close, might moue
More griefe to hide, then hate to vtter loue,
Come.
Exeunt.
Florish. Enter King and Queene, Rosencraus and
Guyldensterne.
King. Welcome deere Rosencraus, and Guyldensterne,
Moreouer, that we much did long to see you,
The need we haue to vse you did prouoke
Our hastie sending, something haue you heard
1025Of Hamlets transformation, so call it,
Sith nor th'exterior, nor the inward man
Resembles that it was, what it should be,
More then his fathers death, that thus hath put him
So much from th'vnderstanding of himselfe
1030I cannot dreame of: I entreate you both
That beeing of so young dayes brought vp with him,
And sith so nabored to his youth and hauior,
That you voutsafe your rest heere in our Court
Some little time, so by your companies
1035To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather
So much as from occasion you may gleane,
1036.1Whether ought to vs vnknowne afflicts him thus,
That opend lyes within our remedie.
Quee. Good gentlemen, he hath much talkt of you,
And sure I am, two men there is not liuing
1040To whom he more adheres, if it will please you
To shew vs so much gentry and good will,
As to expend your time with vs a while,
For the supply and profit of our hope,
Your visitation shall receiue such thanks
1045As fits a Kings remembrance.
Ros. Both your Maiesties
Might by the soueraigne power you haue of vs,
Put your dread pleasures more into commaund
Then to entreatie.
1050Guyl. But we both obey.
And heere giue vp our selues in the full bent,
To lay our seruice freely at your feete
To be commaunded.
King. Thanks Rosencraus, and gentle Guyldensterne.
1055Quee. Thanks Guyldensterne, and gentle Rosencraus.
And I beseech you instantly to visite
My too much changed sonne, goe some of you
And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.
1060Guyl. Heauens make our presence and our practices
Pleasant and helpfull to him.
Quee. I Amen.
Exeunt Ros. and Guyld.
Enter Polonius.
Pol. Th'embassadors from Norway my good Lord,
1065Are ioyfully re
turnd.
King. Thou still hast been the father of good newes.
Pol. Haue I my Lord? I assure my good Liege
I hold my dutie as I hold my soule,
Both to my God, and to my gracious King;
1070And I doe thinke, or els this braine of mine
Hunts not the trayle of policie so sure
As it hath vsd to doe, that I haue found
The very cause of Hamlets lunacie.
King. O speake of that, that doe I long to heare.
1075Pol. Giue first admittance to th'embassadors,
My newes shall be the fruite to that great feast.
King. Thy selfe doe grace to them, and bring them in.
He tells me my deere Gertrard he hath found
The head and source of all your sonnes distemper.
1080Quee. I doubt it is no other but the maine
His fathers death, and our hastie marriage.
Enter Embassadors.
King. Well, we shall sift him, welcome my good friends,
Say Voltemand, what from our brother Norway?
1085Vol. Most faire returne of greetings and desires;
Vpon our first, he sent out to suppresse
His Nephews leuies, which to him appeard
To be a preparation gainst the Pollacke,
But better lookt into, he truly found
1090It was against your highnes, whereat greeu'd
That so his sicknes, age, and impotence
Was falsly borne in hand, sends out arrests
On Fortenbrasse, which he in breefe obeyes,
Receiues rebuke from Norway, and in fine,
1095Makes vow before his Vncle neuer more
To giue th'assay of Armes against your Maiestie:
Whereon old Norway ouercome with ioy,
Giues him threescore thousand crownes in anuall fee,
And his commission to imploy those souldiers
1100So leuied (as before) against the Pollacke,
With an entreatie heerein further shone,
That it might please you to giue quiet passe
Through your dominions for this enterprise
On such regards of safety and allowance
1105As therein are set downe.
King. It likes vs well,
And at our more considered time, wee'le read,
Answer, and thinke vpon this busines:
Meane time, we thanke you for your well tooke labour,
1110Goe to your rest, at night weele feast together,
Most welcome home.
Exeunt Embassadors.
Pol. This busines is well ended.
My Liege and Maddam, to expostulate
What maiestie should be, what dutie is,
1115Why day is day, night, night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to wast night, day, and time,
Therefore breuitie is the soule of wit,
And tediousnes the lymmes and outward florishes,
I will be briefe, your noble sonne is mad:
1120Mad call I it, for to define true madnes,
What ist but to be nothing els but mad,
But let that goe.
Quee. More matter with lesse art.
Pol. Maddam, I sweare I vse no art at all,
1125That hee's mad tis true, tis true, tis pitty,
And pitty tis tis true, a foolish figure,
But farewell it, for I will vse no art.
Mad let vs graunt him then, and now remaines
That we find out the cause of this effect,
1130Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
For this effect defectiue comes by cause:
Thus it remaines, and the remainder thus
Perpend,
I haue a daughter, haue while she is mine,
Who in her dutie and obedience, marke,
1135Hath giuen me this, now gather and surmise,
To the Celestiall and my soules Idoll, the most beau-
tified Ophelia, that's an ill phrase, a vile phrase,
beautified is a vile phrase, but you shall heare: thus in
1140her excellent white bosome, these &c.
Quee. Came this from Hamlet to her?
Pol. Good Maddam stay awhile, I will be faithfull,
Doubt thou the starres are fire,
Letter.
1145Doubt that the Sunne doth moue,
Doubt truth to be a lyer,
But neuer doubt I loue.
O deere Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers, I haue not art to recken
my grones, but that I loue thee best, ô most best belieue it, adew.
Thine euermore most deere Lady, whilst this machine is to him.
Pol. This in obedience hath my daughter showne me,
And more about hath his solicitings
1155As they fell out by time, by meanes, and place,
All giuen to mine eare.
King. But how hath she receiu'd his loue?
Pol. What doe you thinke of me?
King. As of a man faithfull and honorable.
1160Pol. I would faine proue so, but what might you thinke
When I had seene this hote loue on the wing,
As I perceiu'd it (I must tell you that)
Before my daughter told me, what might you,
Or my deere Maiestie your Queene heere thinke,
1165If I had playd the Deske, or Table booke,
Or giuen my hart a working mute and dumbe,
Or lookt vppon this loue with idle sight,
What might you thinke? no, I went round to worke,
And my young Mistris thus I did bespeake,
1170Lord Hamlet is a Prince out of thy star,
This must not be: and then I prescripts gaue her
That she should locke her selfe from her resort,
Admit no messengers, receiue no tokens,
Which done, she tooke the fruites of my aduise:
1175And he repell'd, a short tale to make,
Fell into a sadnes, then into a fast,
Thence to a wath, thence into a weakenes,
Thence to lightnes, and by this declension,
Into the madnes wherein now he raues,
1180And all we mourne for.
King. Doe you thinke this?
Quee. It may be very like.
Pol. Hath there been such a time, I would faine know that,
That I haue positiuely said, tis so,
1185When it proou'd otherwise?
King. Not that I know.
Pol. Take this, from this, if this be otherwise;
If circumstances leade me, I will finde
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeede
1190Within the Center.
King. How may we try it further?
Pol. You know sometimes he walkes foure houres together
Heere in the Lobby.
1195Quee. So he dooes indeede.
Pol. At such a time, Ile loose my daughter to him,
Be you and I behind an Arras then,
Marke the encounter, if he loue her not,
And be not from his reason falne thereon
1200Let me be no assistant for a state
But keepe a farme and carters.
King. We will try it.
Enter Hamlet.
Quee. But looke where sadly the poore wretch comes reading.
Pol. Away, I doe beseech you both away,
Exit King and Queene.
Ile bord him presently, oh giue me leaue,
How dooes my good Lord Hamlet?
Ham. Well, God a mercy.
1210Pol. Doe you knowe me my Lord?
Ham. Excellent well, you are a Fishmonger.
Pol. Not I my Lord.
Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man.
Pol. Honest my Lord.
1215Ham. I sir to be honest as this world goes,
Is to be one man pickt out of tenne thousand.
Pol. That's very true my Lord.
Ham. For if the sunne breede maggots in a dead dogge, being a
good kissing carrion. Haue you a daughter?
Pol. I haue my Lord.
Ham. Let her not walke i'th Sunne, conception is a blessing,
But as your daughter may conceaue, friend looke to't.
1225Pol. How say you by that, still harping on my daughter, yet hee
knewe me not at first, a sayd I was a Fishmonger, a is farre gone,
and truly in my youth, I suffred much extremity for loue, very
neere this. Ile speake to him againe. What doe you reade my
Lord.
1230Ham. Words, words, words.
Pol. What is the matter my Lord.
Ham. Betweene who.
Pol. I meane the matter that you reade my Lord.
Ham. Slaunders sir; for the satericall rogue sayes heere, that old
1235men haue gray beards, that their faces are wrinckled, their eyes
purging thick Amber, & plumtree gum, & that they haue a plen-
tifull lacke of wit, together with most weake hams, all which sir
though I most powerfully and potentlie belieue, yet I hold it not
1240honesty to haue it thus set downe, for your selfe sir shall growe old
as I am: if like a Crab you could goe backward.
Pol. Though this be madnesse, yet there is method in't, will you
walke out of the ayre my Lord?
Ham. Into my graue.
Pol. Indeede that's out of the ayre; how pregnant sometimes
his replies are, a happines that often madnesse hits on, which reason
and sanctity could not so prosperously be deliuered of. I will leaue
him and my daughter. My Lord, I will take my leaue of you.
Ham. You cannot take from mee any thing that I will not more
willingly part withall: except my life, except my life, except my
1260life.
Enter Guyldersterne, and Rosencraus.
Pol. Fare you well my Lord.
Ham. These tedious old fooles.
Pol. You goe to seeke the Lord Hamlet, there he is.
Ros. God saue you sir.
Guyl. My honor'd Lord.
Ros. My most deere Lord.
Ham. My extent good friends, how doost thou Guyldersterne?
1270A Rosencraus, good lads how doe you both?
Ros. As the indifferent children of the earth.
Guyl. Happy, in that we are not euer happy on Fortunes lap,
We are not the very button.
1275Ham. Nor the soles of her shooe.
Ros. Neither my Lord.
Ham. Then you liue about her wast, or in the middle of her fa-
Guyl. Faith her priuates we.
1280Ham. In the secret parts of Fortune, oh most true, she is a strumpet,
What newes?
Ros. None my Lord, but the worlds growne honest.
Ham. Then is Doomes day neere, but your newes is not true;
But in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsonoure?
Ros. To visit you my Lord, no other occasion.
Ham. Begger that I am, I am euer poore in thankes, but I thanke
1320you, and sure deare friends, my thankes are too deare a halfpeny:
were you not sent for? is it your owne inclining? is it a free visitati-
on? come, come, deale iustly with me, come, come, nay speake.
Guy. What should we say my Lord?
1325Ham. Any thing but to'th purpose: you were sent for, and there is
a kind of confession in your lookes, which your modesties haue not
craft enough to cullour, I know the good King and Queene haue
sent for you.
Ros. To what end my Lord?
1330Ham. That you must teach me: but let me coniure you, by the
rights of our fellowship, by the consonancie of our youth, by the
obligation of our euer preserued loue; and by what more deare a
better proposer can charge you withall, bee euen and direct with
me whether you were sent for or no.
Ros. What say you.
Ham. Nay then I haue an eye of you? if you loue me hold not of.
Guyl. My Lord we were sent for.
1340Ham. I will tell you why, so shall my anticipation preuent your
discouery, and your secrecie to the King & Queene moult no fea-
ther, I haue of late, but wherefore I knowe not, lost all my mirth,
forgon all custome of exercises: and indeede it goes so heauily with
my disposition, that this goodly frame the earth, seemes to mee a
1345sterill promontorie, this most excellent Canopie the ayre, looke
you, this braue orehanging firmament, this maiesticall roofe fret-
ted with golden fire, why it appeareth nothing to me but a foule
and pestilent congregation of vapoures. What peece of worke is a
1350man, how noble in reason, how infinit in faculties, in forme and
moouing, how expresse and admirable in action, how like an An-
gell in apprehension, how like a God: the beautie of the world; the
paragon of Annimales; and yet to me, what is this Quintessence of
1355dust: man delights not me, nor women neither, though by your
smilling, you seeme to say so.
Ros. My Lord, there was no such stuffe in my thoughts.
1360Ham. Why did yee laugh then, when I sayd man delights not me.
Ros. To thinke my Lord if you delight not in man, what Lenton
entertainment the players shall receaue from you, we coted them
on the way, and hether are they comming to offer you seruice.
Ham. He that playes the King shal be welcome, his Maiestie shal
haue tribute on me, the aduenterous Knight shall vse his foyle and
target, the Louer shall not sigh gratis, the humorus Man shall end
his part in peace, and the Lady shall say her minde freely: or the
black verse shall hault for't. What players are they?
Ros. Euen those you were wont to take such delight in, the Trage-
1375dians of the Citty.
Ham. How chances it they trauaile? their residence both in repu-
tation, and profit was better both wayes.
Ros. I thinke their inhibition, comes by the meanes of the late
1380innouasion.
Ham. Doe they hold the same estimation they did when I was in
the Citty; are they so followed.
Ros. No indeede are they not.
Ham. It is not very strange, for my Vncle is King of Denmarke, and
1410
those that would make mouths at him while my father liued, giue
twenty, fortie, fifty, a hundred duckets a peece, for his Picture
in little, s'bloud there is somthing in this more then naturall, if
Philosophie could find it out.
A Florish.
Guyl. There are the players.
Ham. Gentlemen you are welcome to Elsonoure, your hands come
then, th'appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremonie; let
mee comply with you in this garb: let me extent to the players,
1420which I tell you must showe fairely outwards, should more ap-
peare like entertainment then yours? you are welcome: but my
Vncle-father, and Aunt-mother, are deceaued.
Guyl. In what my deare Lord.
1425Ham. I am but mad North North west; when the wind is Sou-
therly, I knowe a Hauke, from a hand saw.
Enter Polonius.
Pol. Well be with you Gentlemen.
Ham. Harke you Guyldensterne, and you to, at each eare a hearer,
1430that great baby you see there is not yet out of his swadling clouts.
Ros. Happily he is the second time come to them, for they say an
old man is twice a child.
Ham. I will prophecy, he comes to tell me of the players, mark it,
1435You say right sir, a Monday morning, t'was then indeede.
Pol. My Lord I haue newes to tell you.
Ham. My Lord I haue newes to tel you: when Rossius was an Actor
in Rome.
1440Pol. The Actors are come hether my Lord.
Ham. Buz, buz.
Pol. Vppon my honor.
Ham. Then came each Actor on his Asse.
Pol. The best actors in the world, either for Tragedie, Comedy,
1445History, Pastorall, Pastorall Comicall, Historicall Pastorall, scene
indeuidible, or Poem vnlimited. Sceneca cannot be too heauy, nor
Plautus too light for the lawe of writ, and the liberty: these are the
1450only men.
Ham. O Ieptha Iudge of Israell, what a treasure had'st thou?
Pol. What a treasure had he my Lord?
Ham. Why one faire daughter and no more, the which he loued
1455passing well.
Pol. Still on my daughter.
Ham. Am I not i'th right old Ieptha?
Pol. If you call me Ieptha my Lord, I haue a daughter that I loue
Ham. Nay that followes not.
Pol. What followes then my Lord?
Ham. Why as by lot God wot, and then you knowe it came to
passe, as most like it was; the first rowe of the pious chanson will
showe you more, for looke where my abridgment comes.
Enter thePlayers.
Ham. You are welcome maisters, welcome all, I am glad to see thee
well, welcome good friends, oh old friend, why thy face is va-
lanct since I saw thee last, com'st thou to beard me in Denmark?
1470what my young Lady and mistris, by lady your Ladishippe is
nerer to heauen, then when I saw you last by the altitude of a
chopine, pray God your voyce like a peece of vncurrant gold,
bee not crackt within the ring: maisters you are all welcome,
weele ento't like friendly Fankners, fly at any thing we see,
1475weele haue a speech straite, come giue vs a tast of your quality,
come a passionate speech.
Player. What speech my good Lord?
Ham. I heard thee speake me a speech once, but it was neuer acted,
1480
or if it was, not aboue once, for the play I remember pleasd not
the million, t'was cauiary to the generall, but it was as I receaued
it & others, whose iudgements in such matters cried in the top
of mine, an excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set downe
1485with as much modestie as cunning. I remember one sayd there
were no sallets in the lines, to make the matter sauory, nor no
matter in the phrase that might indite the author of affection,
but cald it an honest method, as wholesome as sweete, & by very
much, more handsome then fine: one speech in't I chiefely loued,
t'was Aeneas talke to Dido, & there about of it especially when he
1490speakes of Priams slaughter, if it liue in your memory begin at
this line, let me see, let me see, the rugged Pirbus like Th'ircanian
beast, tis not so, it beginnes with Pirrhus, the rugged Pirrhus, he whose
sable Armes,
1495Black as his purpose did the night resemble,
When he lay couched in th'omynous horse,
Hath now this dread and black complection smeard,
With heraldy more dismall head to foote,
Now is he totall Gules horridly trickt
1500With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sonnes,
Bak'd and empasted with the parching streetes
That lend a tirranus and a damned light
To their Lords murther, rosted in wrath and fire,
And thus ore-cised with coagulate gore,
1505With eyes like Carbunkles, the hellish Phirrhus
Old grandsire Priam seekes; so proceede you.
Pol. Foregod my Lord well spoken, with good accent and good
Play. Anon he finds him,
1510Striking too short at Greekes, his anticke sword
Rebellious to his arme, lies where it fals,
Repugnant to commaund; vnequall matcht,
Pirrhus at Priam driues, in rage strikes wide,
But with the whiffe and winde of his fell sword,
1515Th'vnnerued father fals:
Seeming to feele this blowe, with flaming top
Stoopes to his base; and with a hiddious crash
Takes prisoner Pirrhus eare, for loe his sword
Which was declining on the milkie head
1520Of reuerent Priam, seem'd i'th ayre to stick,
So as a painted tirant Pirrhus stood
Like a newtrall to his will and matter,
Did nothing:
But as we often see against some storme,
A silence in the heauens, the racke stand still,
1525The bold winds speechlesse, and the orbe belowe
As hush as death, anon the dreadfull thunder
Doth rend the region, so after Pirrhus pause,
A rowsed vengeance sets him new a worke,
And neuer did the Cyclops hammers fall,
1530On Marses Armor forg'd for proofe eterne,
With lesse remorse then Pirrhus bleeding sword
Now falls on Priam.
Out, out, thou strumpet Fortune, all you gods,
In generall sinod take away her power,
1535Breake all the spokes, and follies from her wheele,
And boule the round naue downe the hill of heauen
As lowe as to the fiends.
Pol. This is too long.
Ham. It shall to the barbers with your beard; prethee say on, he's
1540for a Iigge, or a tale of bawdry, or he sleepes, say on, come to Hecuba.
Play. But who, a woe, had seene the mobled Queene,
Ham. The mobled Queene.
Pol. That's good.
1545Play Runne barefoote vp and downe, threatning the flames
With Bison rehume, a clout vppon that head
Where late the Diadem stood, and for a robe,
About her lanck and all ore-teamed loynes,
1550A blancket in the alarme of feare caught vp,
Who this had seene, with tongue in venom steept,
Gainst fortunes state would treason haue pronounst;
But
if the gods themselues did see her then,
When she saw Pirrhus make malicious sport
1555In mincing with his sword her husband limmes,
The instant burst of clamor that she made,
Vnlesse things mortall mooue them not at all,
Would haue made milch the burning eyes of heauen
And passion in the gods.
1560Pol. Looke where he has not turnd his cullour, and has teares in's
eyes, prethee no more.
Ham. Tis well, Ile haue thee speake out the rest of this soone,
Good my Lord will you see the players well bestowed; doe you
heare, let them be well vsed, for they are the abstract and breefe
1565Chronicles of the time; after your death you were better haue a
bad Epitaph then their ill report while you liue.
Pol. My Lord, I will vse them according to their desert.
1570Ham. Gods bodkin man, much better, vse euery man after his de-
sert, & who shall scape whipping, vse them after your owne honor
and dignity, the lesse they deserue the more merrit is in your boun-
ty. Take them in.
1575Pol. Come sirs.
Ham. Follow him friends, weele heare a play to morrowe; dost thou
heare me old friend, can you play the murther of Gonzago?
Play. I my Lord.
1580Ham. Weele hate to morrowe night, you could for neede study
a speech of some dosen lines, or sixteene lines, which I would set
downe and insert in't, could you not?
Play. I my Lord.
Ham. Very well, followe that Lord, & looke you mock him not.
1585My good friends, Ile leaue you tell night, you are welcome to Elson-
oure.
Exeunt Pol. and Players.
Ros. Good my Lord.
Exeunt.
Ham. I so God buy to you, now I am alone,
1590O what a rogue and pesant slaue am I.
Is it not monstrous that this player heere
But in a fixion, in a dreame of passion
Could force his soule so to his owne conceit
That from her working all the visage wand,
1595Teares in his eyes, distraction in his aspect,
A broken voyce, an his whole function suting
With formes to his conceit; and all for nothing,
For Hecuba.
What's Hecuba to him, or he to her,
1600That he should weepe for her? what would he doe
Had he the motiue, and that for passion
That I haue? he would drowne the stage with teares,
And cleaue the generall eare with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty, and appale the free,
1605Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeede
The very faculties of eyes and eares; yet I,
A dull and muddy metteld raskall peake,
Like Iohn-a-dreames, vnpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing; no not for a King,
1610Vpon whose property and most deare life,
A damn'd defeate was made: am I a coward,
Who cals me villaine, breakes my pate a crosse,
Pluckes off my beard, and blowes it in my face,
Twekes me by the nose, giues me the lie i'th thraote
1615As deepe as to the lunges, who does me this,
Hah, s'wounds I should take it: for it cannot be
But I am pidgion liuerd, and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should a fatted all the region kytes
1620With this slaues offall, bloody, baudy villaine,
Remorslesse, trecherous, lecherous, kindlesse villaine.
Why what an Asse am I, this is most braue,
That I the sonne of a deere murthered,
1625Prompted to my reuenge by heauen and hell,
Must like a whore vnpacke my hart with words,
And fall a cursing like a very drabbe; a stallyon, fie vppont, foh.
About my braines; hum, I haue heard,
That guilty creatures sitting at a play,
1630Haue by the very cunning of the scene,
Beene strooke so to the soule, that presently
They haue proclaim'd their malefactions:
For murther, though it haue no tongue will speake
With most miraculous organ: Ile haue these Players
1635Play something like the murther of my father
Before mine Vncle, Ile obserue his lookes,
Ile tent him to the quicke, if a doe blench
I know my course. The spirit that I haue seene
May be a deale, and the deale hath power
1640T'assume a pleasing shape, yea, and perhaps,
Out of my weakenes, and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damne me; Ile haue grounds
More relatiue then this, the play's the thing
1645Wherein Ile catch the conscience of the King.
Exit.
Enter King, Queene, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencraus, Guyl-
densterne, Lords.
King. An can you by no drift of conference
Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
1650Grating so harshly all his dayes of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous lunacie?
Ros. He dooes confesse he feeles himselfe distracted,
But from what cause, a will by no meanes speake.
Guyl. Nor doe we find him forward to be sounded,
1655But with a craftie madnes keepes aloofe
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true state.
Quee. Did he receiue you well?
Ros. Most like a gentleman.
1660Guyl. But with much forcing of his disposition.
Ros. Niggard of question, but of our demaunds
Most free in his reply.
Quee. Did you assay him to any pastime?
Ros. Maddam, it so fell out that certaine Players
1665We ore-raught on the way, of these we told him,
And there did seeme in him a kind of ioy
To heare of it: they are heere about the Court,
And as I thinke, they haue already order
This night to play before him.
1670Pol. Tis most true,
And he beseecht me to intreat your Maiesties
To heare and see the matter.
King. With all my hart,
And it doth much content me
To heare him so inclin'd.
Good gentlemen giue him a further edge,
1675And driue his purpose into these delights.
Ros. We shall my Lord.
Exeunt. Ros. & Guyl.
King. Sweet Gertrard, leaue vs two,
For we haue closely sent for Hamlet hether,
1680That he as t'were by accedent, may heere
Affront Ophelia; her father and my selfe,
Wee'le so bestow our selues, that seeing vnseene,
We may of their encounter franckly iudge,
And gather by him as he is behau'd,
1685Ift be th'affliction of his loue or no
That thus he suffers for.
Quee. I shall obey you.
And for your part Ophelia, I doe wish
That your good beauties be the happy cause
1690Of Hamlets wildnes, so shall I hope your vertues,
Will bring him to his wonted way againe,
To both your honours.
Oph. Maddam, I wish it may.
Pol. Ophelia walke you heere, gracious so please you,
1695We will bestow our selues; reade on this booke,
That show of such an exercise may cullour
Your lowlines; we are oft too blame in this,
Tis too much proou'd, that with deuotions visage
And pious action, we doe sugar ore
1700The deuill himselfe.
King. O tis too true,
How smart a lash that speech doth giue my conscience.
The harlots cheeke beautied with plastring art,
Is not more ougly to the thing that helps it,
1705Then is my deede to my most painted word:
O heauy burthen.
Enter Hamlet.
Pol. I heare him comming, with-draw my Lord.
1710Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the question,
Whether tis nobler in the minde to suffer
The slings and arrowes of outragious fortune,
Or to take Armes against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them, to die to sleepe
1715No more, and by a sleepe, to say we end
The hart-ake, and the thousand naturall shocks
That flesh is heire to; tis a consumation
Deuoutly to be wisht to die to sleepe,
To sleepe, perchance to dreame, I there's the rub,
1720For in that sleepe of death what dreames may come
When we haue shuffled off this mortall coyle
Must giue vs pause, there's the respect
That makes calamitie of so long life:
For who would beare the whips and scornes of time,
1725Th'oppressors wrong, the proude mans contumely,
The pangs of despiz'd loue, the lawes delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurnes
That patient merrit of th'vnworthy takes,
When he himselfe might his quietas make
1730With a bare bodkin; who would fardels beare,
To grunt and sweat vnder a wearie life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The vndiscouer'd country, from whose borne
No trauiler returnes, puzzels the will,
1735And makes vs rather beare those ills we haue,
Then flie to others that we know not of.
Thus conscience dooes make cowards,
And thus the natiue hiew of resolution
Is sickled ore with the pale cast of thought,
1740And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard theyr currents turne awry,
And loose the name of action. Soft you now,
The faire Ophelia, Nimph in thy orizons
Be all my sinnes remembred.
1745Oph. Good my Lord,
How dooes your honour for this many a day?
Ham. I humbly thanke you well.
Oph. My Lord, I haue remembrances of yours
That I haue longed long to redeliuer,
1750I pray you now receiue them.
Ham. No, not I, I neuer gaue you ought.
Oph. My honor'd Lord, you know right well you did,
And with them words of so sweet breath composd
As made these things more rich, their perfume lost,
1755Take these againe, for to the noble mind
Rich gifts wax poore when giuers prooue vnkind,
There my Lord.
Ham. Ha, ha, are you honest.
Oph. My Lord.
1760Ham. Are you faire?
Oph. What meanes your Lordship?
Ham. That if you be honest & faire, you should admit
no discourse to your beautie.
Oph. Could beauty my Lord haue better comerse
1765Then with honestie?
Ham. I truly, for the power of beautie will sooner transforme ho-
nestie from what it is to a bawde, then the force of honestie can trans-
late beautie into his likenes, this was sometime a paradox, but now the
time giues it proofe, I did loue you once.
Oph. Indeed my Lord you made me belieue so.
Ham. You should not haue beleeu'd me, for vertue cannot so
euocutat our old stock, but we shall relish of it, I loued you not.
Oph. I was the more deceiued.
Ham. Get thee a Nunry, why would'st thou be a breeder of sin-
ners, I am my selfe indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse mee of
such things, that it were better my Mother had not borne mee: I am
very proude, reuengefull, ambitious, with more offences at my beck,
then I haue thoughts to put them in, imagination to giue them shape,
or time to act them in: what should such fellowes as I do crauling be-
tweene earth and heauen, wee are arrant knaues, beleeue none of vs,
goe thy waies to a Nunry. Where's your father?
Oph. At home my Lord.
Ham. Let the doores be shut vpon him,
That he may play the foole no where but in's owne house,
Farewell.
Oph. O helpe him you sweet heauens.
1790Ham. If thou doost marry, Ile giue thee this plague for thy dow-
rie, be thou as chast as yce, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape ca-
lumny; get thee to a Nunry, farewell. Or if thou wilt needes marry,
marry a foole, for wise men knowe well enough what monsters you
1795make of them: to a Nunry goe, and quickly to, farewell.
Oph. Heauenly powers restore him.
Ham. I haue heard of your paintings well enough, God hath gi-
uen you one face, and you make your selfes another, you gig & am-
1800ble, and you list you nickname Gods creatures, and make your wan-
tonnes ignorance; goe to, Ile no more on't, it hath made me madde,
I say we will haue no mo marriage, those that are married alreadie, all
but one shall liue, the rest shall keep as they are: to a Nunry go.
Exit.
Oph. O what a noble mind is heere orethrowne!
The Courtiers, souldiers, schollers, eye, tongue, sword,
Th'expectation, and Rose of the faire state,
The glasse of fashion, and the mould of forme,
1810Th'obseru'd of all obseruers, quite quite downe,
And I of Ladies most deiect and wretched,
That suckt the honny of his musickt vowes;
Now see what noble and most soueraigne reason
Like sweet bells iangled out of time, and harsh,
1815That vnmatcht forme, and stature of blowne youth
Blasted with extacie, ô woe is mee
T'haue seene what I haue seene, see what I see.
Exit.
Enter King and Polonius.
King. Loue, his affections doe not that way tend,
1820Nor what he spake, though it lackt forme a little,
Was not like madnes, there's something in his soule
Ore which his melancholy sits on brood,
And I doe doubt, the hatch and the disclose
VVill be some danger; which for to preuent,
1825I haue in quick determination
Thus set it downe: he shall with speede to England,
For the demaund of our neglected tribute,
Haply the seas, and countries different,
With variable obiects, shall expell
1830This something setled matter in his hart,
Whereon his braines still beating
Puts him thus from fashion of himselfe.
What thinke you on't?
Pol. It shall doe well.
But yet doe I belieue the origin and comencement of his greefe,
1835Sprung from neglected loue: How now Ophelia?
You neede not tell vs what Lord Hamlet said,
We heard it all: my Lord, doe as you please,
But if you hold it fit, after the play,
Let his Queene-mother all alone intreate him
1840To show his griefe, let her be round with him,
And Ile be plac'd (so please you) in the eare
Of all their conference, if she find him not,
To England send him: or confine him where
Your wisedome best shall thinke.
1845King. It shall be so,
Madnes in great ones must not vnmatcht goe.
Exeunt.
Enter Hamlet, and three of the Players.
Ham. Speake the speech I pray you as I pronoun'd it to you, trip-
1850pingly on the tongue, but if you mouth it as many of our Players do,
I had as liue the towne cryer spoke my lines, nor doe not saw the ayre
too much with your hand thus, but vse all gently, for in the very tor-
rent tempest, and as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must
1855acquire and beget a temperance, that may giue it smoothnesse, o it
offends mee to the soule, to heare a robustious perwig-pated fellowe
tere a passion to totters, to very rags, to spleet the eares of the ground-
lings, vvho for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplica-
1860ble dumbe showes, and noyse: I would haue such a fellow whipt for
ore-dooing Termagant, it out Herods Herod, pray you auoyde it.
Player. I warrant your honour.
Hamlet. Be not too tame neither, but let your owne discretion be
1865your tutor, sute the action to the word, the word to the action, with
this speciall obseruance, that you ore-steppe not the modestie of na-
ture: For any thing so ore-doone, is from the purpose of playing,
whose end both at the first, and novve, was and is, to holde as twere
1870the Mirrour vp to nature, to shew vertue her feature; scorne her own
Image, and the very age and body of the time his forme and pressure:
Now this ouer-done, or come tardie off, though it makes the vnskil-
full laugh, cannot but make the iudicious greeue, the censure of
1875which one, must in your allowance ore-weigh a whole Theater of o-
thers. O there be Players that I haue seene play, and heard others
praysd, and that highly, not to speake it prophanely, that neither ha-
uing th'accent of Christians, nor the gate of Christian, Pagan, nor
1880man, haue so strutted & bellowed, that I haue thought some of Na-
tures Iornimen had made men, and not made them well, they imita-
ted humanitie so abhominably.
Player. I hope we haue reform'd that indifferently with vs.
Ham. O reforme it altogether, and let those that play your clownes
speake no more then is set downe for them, for there be of them that
wil themselues laugh, to set on some quantitie of barraine spectators
to laugh to, though in the meane time, some necessary question of
the play be then to be considered, that's villanous, and shewes a most
pittifull ambition in the foole that vses it : goe make you readie. How
1895now my Lord, will the King heare this peece of worke?
Enter Polonius, Guyldensterne, & Rosencraus.
Pol. And the Queene to, and that presently.
Ham. Bid the Players make hast. Will you two help to hasten thē.
1900Ros. I my Lord.
Exeunt they two.
Ham. What howe, Horatio.
Enter Horatio.
Hora. Heere sweet Lord, at your seruice.
Ham. Horatio, thou art een as iust a man
1905As ere my conuersation copt withall.
Hor. O my deere Lord.
Nay, doe not thinke I flatter,
For what aduancement may I hope from thee
That no reuenew hast but thy good spirits
1910To feede and clothe thee, why should the poore be flatterd?
No, let the candied tongue licke absurd pompe,
And crooke the pregnant hindges of the knee
Where thrift may follow fauning; doost thou heare,
Since my deare soule was mistris of her choice,
1915And could of men distinguish her election,
S'hath seald thee for herselfe, for thou hast been
As one in suffring all that suffers nothing,
A man that Fortunes buffets and rewards
Hast tane with equall thanks; and blest are those
1920Whose blood and iudgement are so well comedled,
That they are not a pype for Fortunes finger
To sound what stop she please: giue me that man
That is not passions slaue, and I will weare him
In my harts core, I in my hart of hart
1925As I doe thee. Something too much of this,
There is a play to night before the King,
One scene of it comes neere the circumstance
Which I haue told thee of my fathers death,
I prethee when thou seest that act a foote,
1930Euen with the very comment of thy soule
Obserue my Vncle, if his occulted guilt
Doe not it selfe vnkennill in one speech,
It is a damned ghost that we haue seene,
And my imaginations are as foule
1935As Vulcans stithy; giue him heedfull note,
For I mine eyes will riuet to his face,
And after we will both our iudgements ioyne
In censure of his seeming.
Hor. Well my lord,
1940If a steale ought the whilst this play is playing
And scape detected, I will pay the theft.
Enter Trumpets and Kettle Drummes,King, Queene,
Polonius, Ophelia
Ham. They are comming to the play. I must be idle,
Get you a place.
King. How fares our cosin Hamlet?
Ham. Excellent yfaith,
Of the Camelions dish, I eate the ayre,
1950Promiscram'd, you cannot feede Capons so.
King. I haue nothing with this aunswer Hamlet,
These words are not mine.
Ham. No, nor mine now my Lord.
You playd once i'th Vniuersitie you say,
1955Pol. That did I my Lord, and was accounted a good Actor,
Ham. What did you enact?
Pol. I did enact Iulius Cæsar, I was kild i'th Capitall,
Brutus kild mee.
1960Ham. It was a brute part of him to kill so capitall a calfe there,
Be the Players readie?
Ros. I my Lord, they stay vpon your patience.
Ger. Come hether my deere Hamlet, sit by me.
Ham. No good mother, heere's mettle more attractiue.
1965Pol. O ho, doe you marke that.
Ham. Lady shall I lie in your lap?
Ophe. No my Lord.
1970Ham. Doe you thinke I meant country matters?
Oph. I thinke nothing my Lord.
Ham. That's a fayre thought to lye betweene maydes legs.
Oph. What is my Lord?
Ham. Nothing.
1975Oph. You are merry my Lord.
Ham. Who I?
Oph. I my Lord.
Ham. O God your onely Iigge-maker, what should a man do but
be merry, for looke you how cheerefully my mother lookes, and my
1980father died within's two howres.
Oph. Nay, tis twice two months my Lord.
Ham. So long, nay then let the deule weare blacke, for Ile haue a
sute of sables; o heauens, die two months agoe, and not forgotten yet,
1985then there's hope a great mans memorie may out-liue his life halfe a
yeere, but ber Lady a must build Churches then, or els shall a suffer
not thinking on, with the Hobby-horse, whose Epitaph is, for ô, for
ô, the hobby-horse is forgot.
1990
The Trumpets sounds. Dumbe show followes.
Enter a King and a Queene, the Queene embracing him, and he her,he
takes her vp, and declines his head vpon her necke,he lyes him downe vp-
pon a bancke of flowers, she seeing him asleepe, leaues him: anon come in an
1995other man, takes off his crowne, kisses it, pours poyson in the sleepers eares,
and leaues him: the Queene returnes, finds the King dead, makes passionate
action, the poysner with some three or foure come in againe, seeme to con-
dole with her, the dead body is carried away, the poysner wooes the Queene
with gifts, shee seemes harsh awhile, but in the end accepts loue.
Oph. VVhat meanes this my Lord?
Ham. Marry this munching Mallico, it meanes mischiefe.
Oph. Belike this show imports the argument of the play.
Ham. We shall know by this fellow,
Enter Prologue.
The Players cannot keepe, they'le tell all.
2010Oph. Will a tell vs what this show meant?
Ham. I, or any show that you will show him, be not you asham'd
to show, heele not shame to tell you what it meanes.
Oph. You are naught, you are naught, Ile mark the play.
Prologue. For vs and for our Tragedie,
Heere stooping to your clemencie,
We begge your hearing patiently.
2020Ham. Is this a Prologue, or the posie of a ring?
Oph. Tis breefe my Lord.
Ham. As womans loue.
Enter King and Queene.
King. Full thirtie times hath Phebus cart gone round
2025Neptunes salt wash, and Tellus orb'd the ground,
And thirtie dosen Moones with borrowed sheene
About the world haue times twelue thirties beene
Since loue our harts, and Hymen did our hands
Vnite comutuall in most sacred bands.
2030Quee. So many iourneyes may the Sunne and Moone
Make vs againe count ore ere loue be doone,
But woe is me, you are so sicke of late,
So farre from cheere, and from our former state,
That I distrust you, yet though I distrust,
2035Discomfort you my Lord it nothing must.
2035.1For women feare too much, euen as they loue,
And womens feare and loue hold quantitie,
Eyther none, in neither ought, or in extremitie,
Now what my Lord is proofe hath made you know,
And as my loue is ciz'd, my feare is so,
2039.1Where loue is great, the litlest doubts are feare,
Where little feares grow great, great loue growes there.
2040King. Faith I must leaue thee loue, and shortly to,
My operant powers their functions leaue to do,
And thou shalt liue in this faire world behind,
Honord, belou'd, and haply one as kind,
For husband shalt thou.
2045Quee. O confound the rest,
Such loue must needes be treason in my brest,
In second husband let me be accurst,
None wed the second, but who kild the first.
Ham. That's
2050 The instances that second marriage moue
Are base respects of thrift, but none of loue,
A second time I kill my husband dead,
When second husband kisses me in bed.
King. I doe belieue you thinke what now you speake,
2055But what we doe determine, oft we breake,
Purpose is but the slaue to memorie,
Of violent birth, but poore validitie,
Which now the fruite vnripe sticks on the tree,
But fall vnshaken when they mellow bee.
2060Most necessary tis that we forget
To pay our selues what to our selues is debt,
What to our selues in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose,
The violence of eyther, griefe, or ioy,
2065Their owne ennactures with themselues destroy,
Where ioy most reuels, griefe doth most lament,
Greefe ioy, ioy griefes, on slender accedent,
This world is not for aye, nor tis not strange,
That euen our loues should with our fortunes change:
2070For tis a question left vs yet to proue,
Whether loue lead fortune, or els fortune loue.
The great man downe, you marke his fauourite flyes,
The poore aduaunc'd, makes friends of enemies,
And hetherto doth loue on fortune tend,
2075For who not needes, shall neuer lacke a friend,
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his enemy.
But orderly to end where I begunne,
Our wills and fates doe so contrary runne,
2080That our deuises still are ouerthrowne,
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our owne,
So thinke thou wilt no second husband wed,
But die thy thoughts when thy first Lord is dead.
Quee. Nor earth to me giue foode, nor heauen light,
2085Sport and repose lock from me day and night,
2085.1To desperation turne my trust and hope,
And Anchors cheere in prison be my scope,
Each opposite that blancks the face of ioy,
Meete what I would haue well, and it destroy,
Both heere and hence pursue me lasting strife,
Ham. If she should
If once I be a widdow, euer I be a wife.
King. Tis deeply sworne, sweet leaue me heere a while,
My spirits grow dull, and faine I would beguile
The tedious day with sleepe.
2095Quee. Sleepe rock thy braine,
And neuer come mischance betweene vs twaine.
Exeunt.
Ham. Madam, how like you this play?
Quee. The Lady doth protest too much mee thinks.
Ham. O but shee'le keepe her word.
2100King. Haue you heard the argument? is there no offence in't?
Ham. No, no, they do but iest, poyson in iest, no offence i'th world.
King. What doe you call the play?
2105Ham. The Mousetrap, mary how tropically, this play is the Image
of a murther doone in Vienna, Gonzago is the Dukes name, his wife
Baptista, you shall see anon, tis a knauish peece of worke, but what of
that? your Maiestie, and wee that haue free soules, it touches vs not,
2110let the gauled Iade winch, our withers are vnwrong. This is one Lu-
cianus, Nephew to the King.
Enter Lucianus.
Oph. You are as good as a Chorus my Lord.
Ham. I could interpret betweene you and your loue
2115If I could see the puppets dallying.
Oph. You are keene my lord, you are keene.
Ham. It would cost you a groning to take off mine edge.
Oph. Still better and worse.
2120Ham. So you mistake your husbands. Beginne murtherer, leaue
thy damnable faces and begin, come, the croking Rauen doth bellow
for reuenge.
Luc. Thoughts black, hands apt, drugges fit, and time agreeing,
Considerat season els no creature seeing,
Thou mixture ranck, of midnight weedes collected,
VVith Hecats ban thrice blasted, thrice inuected,
Thy naturall magicke, and dire property,
2130On wholsome life vsurps immediatly.
Ham. A poysons him i'th Garden for his estate, his names Gonza-
go, the story is extant, and written in very choice Italian, you shall see
anon how the murtherer gets the loue of Gonzagoes wife.
Oph. The King rises.
Quee. How fares my Lord?
Pol. Giue ore the play.
2140King. Giue me some light, away.
Pol. Lights, lights, lights.
Exeunt all but Ham. & Horatio.
Ham. Why let the strooken Deere goe weepe,
The Hart vngauled play,
2145For some must watch while some must sleepe,
Thus runnes the world away.
Would not this sir & a forrest of fea-
thers, if the rest of my fortunes turne Turk with me, with prouinciall
Roses on my raz'd shooes, get me a fellowship in a cry of players?
Hora. Halfe a share.
Ham. A whole one I.
For thou doost know oh Damon deere
This Realme dismantled was
Of Ioue himselfe, and now raignes heere
A very very paiock.
Hora. You might haue rym'd.
Ham. O good Horatio, Ile take the Ghosts word for a thousand
pound. Did'st perceiue?
2160Hora. Very well my Lord.
Ham. Vpon the talke of the poysning.
Hor. I did very well note him.
Ham. Ah ha, come some musique, come the Recorders,
2165For if the King like not the Comedie,
Why then belike he likes it not perdy.
Come, some musique.
Enter Rosencraus and Guyldensterne.
Guyl. Good my Lord, voutsafe me a word with you.
Ham. Sir a whole historie.
2170Guyl. The King sir.
Ham. I sir, what of him?
Guyl. Is in his retirement meruilous distempred.
Ham. With drinke sir?
Guyl. No my Lord, with choller,
2175Ham. Your wisedome should shewe it selfe more richer to signifie
this to the Doctor, for, for mee to put him to his purgation, would
perhaps plunge him into more choller.
Guyl. Good my Lord put your discourse into some frame,
2180And stare not so wildly from my affaire.
Ham. I am tame sir, pronounce.
Guyl. The Queene your mother in most great affliction of spirit,
hath sent me to you.
Ham. You are welcome.
2185Guyl. Nay good my Lord, this curtesie is not of the right breede, if
it shall please you to make me a wholsome aunswere, I will doe your
mothers commaundement, if not, your pardon and my returne, shall
be the end of busines.
2190Ham. Sir I cannot.
Ros. What my Lord.
Ham. Make you a wholsome answer, my wits diseasd, but sir, such
answere as I can make, you shall commaund, or rather as you say, my
mother, therefore no more, but to the matter, my mother you say.
Ros. Then thus she sayes, your behauiour hath strooke her into a-
mazement and admiration.
Ham. O wonderful sonne that can so stonish a mother, but is there
no sequell at the heeles of this mothers admiration, impart.
Ros. She desires to speak with you in her closet ere you go to bed.
Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother, haue you any
further trade with vs?
2205Ros. My Lord, you once did loue me.
Ham. And doe still by these pickers and stealers.
Ros. Good my Lord, what is your cause of distemper, you do sure-
ly barre the doore vpon your owne liberty if you deny your griefes to
your friend.
2210Ham. Sir I lacke aduauncement.
Ros. How can that be, when you haue the voyce of the King him-
selfe for your succession in Denmarke.
2215
Enter the Players with Recorders.
Ham. I sir, but while the grasse growes, the prouerbe is something
musty, ô the Recorders, let mee see one, to withdraw with you, why
doe you goe about to recouer the wind of mee, as if you would driue
me into a toyle?
Guyl. O my lord, if my duty be too bold, my loue is too vnmanerly.
Ham. I do not wel vnderstand that, wil you play vpon this pipe?
Guyl. My lord I cannot.
Ham. I pray you.
2225Guyl. Beleeue me I cannot.
Ham. I doe beseech you.
Guyl. I know no touch of it my Lord.
Ham. It is as easie as lying; gouerne these ventages with your fin-
gers, & the vmber, giue it breath with your mouth, & it wil discourse
2230most eloquent musique, looke you, these are the stops.
Guil. But these cannot I commaund to any vttrance of harmonie, I
haue not the skill.
Ham. Why looke you now how vnwoorthy a thing you make of
2235me, you would play vpon mee, you would seeme to know my stops,
you would plucke out the hart of my mistery, you would sound mee
from my lowest note to my compasse, and there is much musique ex-
cellent voyce in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak, s'bloud
2240do you think I am easier to be plaid on then a pipe, call mee what in-
strument you wil, though you fret me not, you cannot play vpon me.
God blesse you sir.
Enter Polonius.
2245Pol. My Lord, the Queene would speake with you, & presently.
Ham. Do you see yonder clowd that's almost in shape of a Camel?
Pol. By'th masse and tis, like a Camell indeed.
2250Ham. Mee thinks it is like a Wezell.
Pol. It is backt like a Wezell.
Ham. Or like a Whale.
Pol. Very like a Whale.
Then I will come to my mother by and by,
2255They foole me to the top of my bent, I will come by & by,
Leaue me friends.
I will, say so. By and by is easily said,
Tis now the very witching time of night,
2260When Churchyards yawne, and hell it selfe breakes out
Contagion to this world: now could I drinke hote blood,
And doe such busines as the bitter day
Would quake to looke on: soft, now to my mother,
O hart loose not thy nature, let not euer
2265The soule of Nero enter this firme bosome,
Let me be cruell, not vnnaturall,
I will speake dagger to her, but vse none,
My tongue and soule in this be hypocrites,
How in my words someuer she be shent,
2270To giue them seales neuer my soule consent.
Exit.
Enter King, Rosencraus, and Guyldensterne.
King. I like him not, nor stands it safe with vs
To let his madnes range, therefore prepare you,
I your commission will forth-with dispatch,
2275And he to England shall along with you,
The termes of our estate may not endure
Hazerd so neer's as doth hourely grow
Out of his browes.
Guyl. We will our selues prouide,
2280Most holy and religious feare it is
To keepe those many many bodies safe
That liue and feede vpon your Maiestie.
Ros. The single and peculier life is bound
2285With all the strength and armour of the mind
To keepe it selfe from noyance, but much more
That spirit, vpon whose weale depends and rests
The liues of many, the cesse of Maiestie
Dies not alone; but like a gulfe doth draw
2290What's neere it, with it, or it is a massie wheele
Fixt on the somnet of the highest mount,
To whose hough spokes, tenne thousand lesser things
Are morteist and adioynd, which when it falls,
Each small annexment petty consequence
2295Attends the boystrous raine, neuer alone
Did the King sigh, but a generall grone.
King. Arme you I pray you to this speedy viage,
For we will fetters put about this feare
Which now goes too free-footed.
2300Ros. We will hast vs.
Exeunt Gent.
Enter Polonius.
Pol. My Lord, hee's going to his mothers closet,
Behind the Arras I'le conuay my selfe
To heare the processe, I'le warrant shee'letax him home,
2305And as you sayd, and wisely was it sayd,
Tis meete that some more audience then a mother,
Since nature makes them parciall, should ore-heare
The speech of vantage; farre you well my Leige,
I'le call vpon you ere you goe to bed.
2310And tell you what I knowe.
Exit.
King. Thankes deere my Lord.
O my offence is ranck, it smels to heauen,
It hath the primall eldest curse vppont,
A brothers murther, pray can I not,
2315Though inclination be as sharp as will,
My stronger guilt defeats my strong entent,
And like a man to double bussines bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first beginne,
And both neglect, what if this cursed hand
2320Were thicker then it selfe with brothers blood,
Is there not raine enough in the sweete Heauens
To wash it white as snowe, whereto serues mercy
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what's in prayer but this two fold force,
2325To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon being downe, then I'le looke vp.
My fault is past, but oh what forme of prayer
Can serue my turne, forgiue me my foule murther,
That cannot be since I am still possest
2330Of those effects for which I did the murther;
My Crowne, mine owne ambition, and my Queene;
May one be pardond and retaine th'offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offences guilded hand may showe by iustice,
2335And oft tis seene the wicked prize it selfe
Buyes out the lawe, but tis not so aboue,
There is no shufling, there the action lies
In his true nature, and we our selues compeld
Euen to the teeth and forhead of our faults
2340To giue in euidence, what then, what rests,
Try what repentance can, what can it not,
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
O wretched state, ô bosome blacke as death,
O limed soule, that struggling to be free,
2345Art more ingaged; helpe Angels make assay,
Bowe stubborne knees, and hart with strings of steale,
Be soft as sinnewes of the new borne babe,
All may be well.
Enter Hamlet.
2350Ham. Now might I doe it, but now a is a praying,
And now Ile doo't, and so a goes to heauen,
And so am I reuendge, that would be scand
A villaine kills my father, and for that,
I his sole sonne, doe this same villaine send
2355To heauen.
Why, this is base and silly, not reuendge,
A tooke my father grosly full of bread,
Withall his crimes braod blowne, as flush as May,
And how his audit stands who knowes saue heauen,
But in our circumstance and course of thought,
2360Tis heauy with him: and am I then reuendged
To take him in the purging of his soule,
When he is fit and seasond for his passage?
No.
Vp sword, and knowe thou a more horrid hent,
When he is drunke, a sleepe, or in his rage,
2365Or in th'incestious pleasure of his bed,
At game a swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of saluation in't,
Then trip him that his heels may kick at heauen,
And that his soule may be as damnd and black
2370As hell whereto it goes; my mother staies,
This phisick but prolongs thy sickly daies.
Exit.
King. My words fly vp, my thoughts remaine belowe
Words without thoughts neuer to heauen goe.
Exit.
Enter Gertrard and Polonius.
2375Pol. A will come strait, looke you lay home to him,
Tell him his prancks haue beene too braod to beare with,
And that your grace hath screend and stood betweene
Much heate and him, Ile silence me euen heere,
2380Pray you be round.
Enter Hamlet.
Ger. Ile wait you, feare me not,
With-drawe, I heare him comming.
2385Ham. Now mother, what's the matter?
Ger. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
Ham. Mother, you haue my father much offended.
Ger. Come, come, you answere with an idle tongue.
Ham. Goe, goe, you question with a wicked tongue.
2390Ger. Why how now Hamlet?
Ham. What's the matter now?
Ger. Haue you forgot me?
Ham. No by the rood not so,
You are the Queene, your husbands brothers wife,
2395And would it were not so, you are my mother.
Ger. Nay, then Ile set those to you that can speake.
Ham. Come, come, and sit you downe, you shall not boudge,
You goe not till I set you vp a glasse
2400Where you may see the most part of you.
Ger. What wilt thou doe, thou wilt not murther me,
Helpe how.
Pol. What how helpe.
Ham. How now, a Rat, dead for a Duckat, dead.
2405Pol. O I am slaine.
Ger. O me, what hast thou done?
Ham, Nay I knowe not, is it the King?
Ger. O what a rash and bloody deede is this.
Ham. A bloody deede, almost as bad, good mother
2410As kill a King, and marry with his brother.
Ger. As kill a King.
Ham. I Lady, it was my word.
Thou wretched, rash, intruding foole farwell,
I tooke thee for thy better, take thy fortune,
2415Thou find'st to be too busie is some danger,
Leaue wringing of your hands, peace sit you downe,
And let me wring your hart, for so I shall
If it be made of penitrable stu{
ff}e,
If damned custome haue not brasd it so,
2420That it be proofe and bulwark against sence.
Ger. What haue I done, that thou dar'st wagge thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?
Ham. Such an act
That blurres the grace and blush of modesty,
2425Cals vertue hippocrit, takes of the Rose
From the faire forhead of an innocent loue,
And sets a blister there, makes marriage vowes
As false as dicers oathes, ô such a deede,
As from the body of contraction plucks
2430The very soule, and sweet religion makes
A rapsedy of words; heauens face dooes glowe
Ore this solidity and compound masse
With heated visage, as against the doome
Is thought sick at the act
2435Quee. Ay me, what act?
Ham. That roares so low'd, and thunders in the Index,
Looke heere vpon this Picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers,
See what a grace was seated on this browe,
2440Hiperions curles, the front of Ioue himselfe,
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command,
A station like the herald Mercury,
New lighted on a heaue, a kissing hill,
A combination, and a forme indeede,
2445Where euery God did seeme to set his seale
To giue the world assurance of a man,
This was your husband, looke you now what followes,
Heere is your husband like a mildewed eare,
Blasting his wholsome brother, haue you eyes,
2450Could you on this faire mountaine leaue to feede,
And batten on this Moore; ha, haue you eyes?
You cannot call it loue, for at your age
The heyday in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waits vppon the iudgement, and what iudgement
2455Would step from this to this, sence sure youe haue
2455.1Els could you not haue motion, but sure that sence
Is appoplext, for madnesse would not erre
Nor sence to extacie was nere so thral'd
But it reseru'd some quantity of choise
.5To serue in such a difference, what deuill wast
That thus hath cosund you at hodman blind;
2456.1Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Eares without hands, or eyes, smelling sance all,
Or but a sickly part of one true sence
Could not so mope: ô shame where is thy blush?
Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a Matrons bones,
To flaming youth let vertue be as wax
2460And melt in her owne fire, proclaime no shame
When the compulsiue ardure giues the charge,
Since frost it selfe as actiuely doth burne,
And reason pardons will.
Ger. O Hamlet speake no more,
2465Thou turnst my very eyes into my soule,
And there I see such blacke and greeued spots
As will leaue there their tin'ct.
Ham. Nay but to liue
In the ranck sweat of an inseemed bed
2470Stewed in corruption, honying, and making loue
Ouer the nasty stie.
Ger. O speake to me no more,
These words like daggers enter in my eares,
No more sweete Hamlet.
2475Ham. A murtherer and a villaine,
A slaue that is not twentith part the kyth
Of your precedent Lord, a vice of Kings,
A cut-purse of the Empire and the rule,
That from a shelfe the precious Diadem stole
2480And put it in his pocket.
Ger. No more.
Enter Ghost.
Ham. A King of shreds and patches,
Saue me and houer ore me with your wings
2485You heauenly gards: what would your gracious figure?
Ger. Alas hee's mad.
Ham. Doe you not come your tardy sonne to chide,
That lap'st in time and passion lets goe by
Th'important acting of your dread command, ô say.
2490Ghost. Doe not forget, this visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose,
But looke, amazement on thy mother sits,
O step betweene her, and her fighting soule,
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest workes,
2495Speake to her Hamlet.
Ham. How is it with you Lady?
Ger. Alas how i'st with you?
That you doe bend your eye on vacancie,
And with th'incorporall ayre doe hold discourse,
2500Foorth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
And as the sleeping souldiers in th'alarme,
Your bedded haire like life in excrements
Start vp and stand an end, ô gentle sonne
Vpon the heat and flame of thy distemper
2505Sprinckle coole patience, whereon doe you looke?
Ham. On him, on him, looke you how pale he glares,
His forme and cause conioynd, preaching to stones
Would make them capable, doe not looke vpon me,
Least with this pittious action you conuert
2510My stearne effects, then what I haue to doe
Will want true cullour, teares perchance for blood.
Ger. To whom doe you speake this?
Ham. Doe you see nothing there?
Ger. Nothing at all, yet all that is I see.
2515Ham. Nor did you nothing heare?
Ger. No nothing but our selues.
Ham. Why looke you there, looke how it steales away,
My father in his habit as he liued,
Looke where he goes, euen now out at the portall.
Exit Ghost.
2520Ger. This is the very coynage of your braine,
This bodilesse creation extacie is very cunning in.
Ham. My pulse as yours doth temperatly keepe time,
And makes as healthfull musicke, it is not madnesse
2525That I haue vttred, bring me to the test,
And the matter will reword, which madnesse
Would gambole from, mother for loue of grace,
Lay not that flattering vnction to your soule
That not your trespasse but my madnesse speakes,
2530It will but skin and filme the vlcerous place
Whiles ranck corruption mining all within
Infects vnseene, confesse your selfe to heauen,
Repent what's past, auoyd what is to come,
And doe not spread the compost on the weedes
2535To make them rancker, forgiue me this my vertue,
For in the fatnesse of these pursie times
Vertue it selfe of vice must pardon beg,
Yea curbe and wooe for leaue to doe him good.
Ger. O Hamlet thou hast cleft my hart in twaine.
Ham. O throwe away the worser part of it,
And leaue the purer with the other halfe,
Good night, but goe not to my Vncles bed,
Assune a vertue if you haue it not,
2544.1That monster custome, who all sence doth eate
Of habits deuill, is angell yet in this
That to the vse of actions faire and good,
He likewise giues a frock or Liuery
.5That aptly is put on to refraine night,
2545And that shall lend a kind of easines
To the next abstinence, the next more easie:
2546.1For vse almost can change the stamp of nature,
And either the deuill, or throwe him out
With wonderous potency: once more good night,
And when you are desirous to be blest,
Ile blessing beg of you, for this same Lord
I doe repent; but heauen hath pleasd it so
2550To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their scourge and minister,
I will bestowe him and will answere well
The death I gaue him; so againe good night
I must be cruell only to be kinde,
2555This bad beginnes, and worse remaines behind.
2555.1One word more good Lady.
Ger. What shall I doe?
Ham. Not this by no meanes that I bid you doe,
Let the blowt King temp't you againe to bed,
Pinch wanton on your cheeke, call you his Mouse,
2560And let him for a paire of reechie kisses,
Or padling in your necke with his damn'd fingers.
Make you to rouell all this matter out
That I essentially am not in madnesse,
But mad in craft, t'were good you let him knowe,
2565For who that's but a Queene, faire, sober, wise,
Would from a paddack, from a bat, a gib,
Such deare concernings hide, who would doe so,
No, in dispight of sence and secrecy,
Vnpeg the basket on the houses top,
2570Let the birds fly, and like the famous Ape,
To try conclusions in the basket creepe,
And breake your owne necke downe.
Ger. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of breath
And breath of life, I haue no life to breath
2575What thou hast sayd to me.
Ham. I must to England, you knowe that.
Ger. Alack I had forgot.
Tis so concluded on.
2577.1Ham. Ther's letters seald, and my two Schoolefellowes,
Whom I will trust as I will Adders fang'd,
They beare the mandat, they must sweep my way
And marshall me to knauery: let it worke,
.5For tis the sport to haue the enginer
Hoist with his owne petar, an't shall goe hard
But I will delue one yard belowe their mines,
And blowe them at the Moone: ô tis most sweete
When in one line two crafts directly meete,
This man shall set me packing,
Ile lugge the guts into the neighbour roome;
2580Mother good night indeed, this Counsayler
Is now most still, most secret, and most graue,
Who was in life a most foolish prating knaue.
Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.
Good night mother.
Exit.
Eenter King,and Queene, with Rosencraus
2586.1and Guyldensterne.
King. There's matter in these sighes, these profound heaues,
You must translate, tis fit we vnderstand them,
2590Where is your sonne?
2590.1Ger. Bestow this place on vs a little while.
Ah mine owne Lord, what haue I seene to night?
King. What Gertrard, how dooes Hamlet?
Ger. Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
Which is the mightier, in his lawlesse fit,
2595Behind the Arras hearing some thing stirre,
Whyps out his Rapier, cryes a Rat, a Rat,
And in this brainish apprehension kills
The vnseene good old man.
King. O heauy deede!
2600It had beene so with vs had wee been there,
His libertie is full of threates to all,
To you your selfe, to vs, to euery one,
Alas, how shall this bloody deede be answer'd?
It will be layd to vs, whose prouidence
2605Should haue kept short, restraind, and out of haunt
This mad young man; but so much was our loue,
We would not vnderstand what was most fit,
But like the owner of a foule disease
To keepe it from divulging, let it feede
2610Euen on the pith of life: where is he gone?
Ger. To draw apart the body he hath kild,
Ore whom, his very madnes like some ore
Among a minerall of mettals base,
Showes it selfe pure, a weepes for what is done.
2615King. O Gertrard, come away,
The sunne no sooner shall the mountaines touch,
But we will ship him hence, and this vile deede
We must with all our Maiestie and skill
Enter Ros. & Guild.
Both countenaunce and excuse. Ho Guyldensterne,
Friends both, goe ioyne you with some further ayde,
Hamlet in madnes hath Polonius slaine,
And from his mothers closet hath he dreg'd him,
Goe seeke him out, speake fayre, and bring the body
2625Into the Chappell; I pray you hast in this,
Come Gertrard, wee'le call vp our wisest friends,
And let them know both what we meane to doe
And whats vntimely doone,
2628.1Whose whisper ore the worlds dyameter,
As leuell as the Cannon to his blanck,
Transports his poysned shot, may misse our Name,
And hit the woundlesse ayre, ô come away,
My soule is full of discord and dismay.
Exeunt.
2630
Enter Hamlet,Rosencraus, and others.
Ham. Safely stowd, but soft, what noyse, who calls on Hamlet?
O heere they come.
2635Ros. What haue you doone my Lord with the dead body?
Ham. Compound it with dust whereto tis kin.
Ros. Tell vs where tis that we may take it thence,
And beare it to the Chappell.
Ham. Doe not beleeue it.
2640Ros. Beleeue what.
Ham. That I can keepe your counsaile & not mine owne, besides
to be demaunded of a spunge, what replycation should be made by
the sonne of a King.
Ros. Take you me for a spunge my Lord?
2645Ham. I sir, that sokes vp the Kings countenaunce, his rewards, his
authorities, but such Officers doe the King best seruice in the end, he
keepes them like an apple in the corner of his iaw, first mouth'd to be
last swallowed, when hee needs what you haue gleand, it is but squee-
2650sing you, and spunge you shall be dry againe.
Ros. I vnderstand you not my Lord.
Ham. I am glad of it, a knauish speech sleepes in a foolish eare.
Ros. My Lord, you must tell vs where the body is, and goe with vs
2655to the King.
Ham. The body is with the King, but the King is not with the
body. The King is a thing.
Guyl. A thing my Lord.
Ham. Of nothing, bring me to him.
Exeunt.
Enter King, and two or three.
King. I haue sent to seeke him, and to find the body,
How dangerous is it that this man goes loose,
Yet must not we put the strong Law on him,
2665Hee's lou'd of the distracted multitude,
VVho like not in their iudgement, but theyr eyes,
And where tis so, th'offenders scourge is wayed
But neuer the offence: to beare all smooth and euen,
This suddaine sending him away must seeme
2670Deliberate pause, diseases desperat growne,
By desperat applyance are relieu'd
Or not at all.
Enter Rosencraus and all the rest.
King. How now, what hath befalne?
Ros. Where the dead body is bestowd my Lord
2675VVe cannot get from him.
King. But where is hee?
Ros. Without my lord, guarded to know your pleasure.
King. Bring him before vs.
2680Ros. How, bring in the Lord.
They enter.
King. Now Hamlet, where's Polonius?
Ham. At supper.
King. At supper, where.
2685Ham. Not where he eates, but where a is eaten, a certaine conua-
cation of politique wormes are een at him: your worme is your onely
Emperour for dyet, we fat all creatures els to fat vs, and wee fat our
selues for maggots, your fat King and your leane begger is but varia-
ble seruice, two dishes but to one table, that's the end.
2690.1King. Alas, alas.
Ham. A man may fish with the worme that hath eate of a King, &
eate of the fish that hath fedde of that worme.
King.King. VVhat doost thou meane by this?
Ham. Nothing but to shew you how a King may goe a progresse
through the guts of a begger.
King. Where is Polonius?
2695Ham. In heauen, send thether to see, if your messenger finde him
not thrre, seeke him i'th other place your selfe, but if indeed you find
him not within this month, you shall nose him as you goe vp the
stayres into the Lobby.
King. Goe seeke him there.
2700Ham. A will stay till you come.
King. Hamlet this deede for thine especiall safety
Which we do tender, as we deerely grieue
For that which thou hast done, must send thee hence.
Therefore prepare thy selfe,
2705The Barck is ready, and the wind at helpe,
Th'associats tend, and euery thing is bent
For England.
Ham. For England.
King. I Hamlet.
2710Ham. Good.
King. So is it if thou knew'st our purposes.
Ham. I see a Cherub that sees thē, but come for England,
Farewell deere Mother.
King. Thy louing Father Hamlet.
2715Ham. My mother, Father and Mother is man and wife,
Man and wife is one flesh, so my mother:
Come for England.
Exit.
King. Follow him at foote,
Tempt him with speede abord,
2720Delay it not, Ile haue him hence to night.
Away, for euery thing is seald and done
That els leanes on th'affayre, pray you make hast,
And England, if my loue thou hold'st at ought,
As my great power thereof may giue thee sence,
2725Since yet thy Cicatrice lookes raw and red,
After the Danish sword, and thy free awe
Payes homage to vs, thou mayst not coldly set
Our soueraigne processe, which imports at full
By Letters congruing to that effect
2730The present death of Hamlet, doe it England,
For like the Hectique in my blood he rages,
And thou must cure me; till I know tis done,
How ere my haps, my ioyes will nere begin.
Exit.
Enter Fortinbrasse with his Army ouer the stage.
2735Fortin. Goe Captaine, from me greet the Danish King,
Tell him, that by his lycence Fortinbrasse
Craues the conueyance of a promisd march
Ouer his kingdome, you know the randeuous,
If that his Maiestie would ought with vs,
2740We shall expresse our dutie in his eye,
And let him know so.
Cap. I will doo't my Lord.
For. Goe softly on.
2743.1
Enter Hamlet, Rosencraus, &c.
Ham. Good sir whose powers are these?
Cap. They are of Norway sir.
Ham. How purposd sir I pray you?
.5Cap. Against some part of Poland.
Ham. Who commaunds them sir?
Cap. The Nephew to old Norway, Fortenbrasse.
Ham. Goes it against the maine of Poland sir,
Or for some frontire?
.10Cap. Truly to speake, and with no addition,
We goe to gaine a little patch of ground
That hath in it no profit but the name
To pay fiue duckets, fiue I would not farme it;
Nor will it yeeld to Norway or the Pole
.15A rancker rate, should it be sold in fee.
Ham. Why then the Pollacke neuer will defend it.
Cap. Yes, it is already garisond.
Ham. Two thousand soules, & twenty thousand duckets
VVill not debate the question of this straw,
.20This is th'Impostume of much wealth and peace,
That inward breakes, and showes no cause without
Why the man dies. I humbly thanke you sir.
Cap. God buy you sir.
Ros. Wil't please you goe my Lord?
.25Ham. Ile be with you straight, goe a little before.
How all occasions doe informe against me,
And spur my dull reuenge. What is a man
If his chiefe good and market of his time
Be but to sleepe and feede, a beast, no more:
.30Sure he that made vs with such large discourse
Looking before and after, gaue vs not
That capabilitie and god-like reason
To fust in vs vnvsd, now whether it be
Bestiall obliuion, or some crauen scruple
.35Of thinking too precisely on th'euent,
A thought which quarterd hath but one part wisedom,
And euer three parts coward, I doe not know
Why yet I liue to say this thing's to doe,
Sith I haue cause, and will, and strength, and meanes
.40To doo't; examples grosse as earth exhort me,
Witnes this Army of such masse and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender Prince,
Whose spirit with diuine ambition puft,
Makes mouthes at the invisible euent,
.45Exposing what is mortall, and vnsure,
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Euen for an Egge-shell. Rightly to be great,
Is not to stirre without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrell in a straw
.50When honour's at the stake, how stand I then
That haue a father kild, a mother staind,
Excytements of my reason, and my blood,
And let all sleepe, while to my shame I see
The iminent death of twenty thousand men,
.55That for a fantasie and tricke of fame
Goe to their graues like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tombe enough and continent
To hide the slaine, ô from this time forth,
.60My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth.
Exit.
Enter Horatio, Gertrard,and a Gentleman.
2745Quee. I will not speake with her.
Gent. Shee is importunat,
Indeede distract, her moode will needes be pittied.
Quee. What would she haue?
Gent. She speakes much of her father, sayes she heares
2750There's tricks i'th world, and hems, and beates her hart,
Spurnes enuiously at strawes, speakes things in doubt
That carry but halfe sence, her speech is noth
ing,
Yet the vnshaped vse of it doth moue
The hearers to collection, they yawne at it,
2755And botch the words vp fit to theyr owne thoughts,
Which as her wincks, and nods, and gestures yeeld them,
Indeede would make one thinke there might be thought
Though nothing sure, yet much vnhappily.
Hora. Twere good she were spoken with, for shee may strew
2760Dangerous coniectures in ill breeding mindes,
Let her come in.
Enter Ophelia.
Quee. fTo my sicke soule, as sinnes true nature is,
fEach toy seemes prologue to some great amisse,
fSo full of artlesse iealousie is guilt,
2765fIt spills it selfe, in fearing to be spylt.
Oph. Where is the beautious Maiestie of Denmarke?
Quee. How now Ophelia?
shee sings.
Oph.
How should I your true loue know from another one,
2770By his cockle hat and staffe, and his Sendall shoone.
Quee. Alas sweet Lady, what imports this song?
Oph. Say you, nay pray you marke,
He is dead & gone Lady, he is dead and gone,
Song.
At his head a grasgreene turph, at his heeles a stone.
2774.1O ho.
Quee. Nay but Ophelia.
Oph. Pray you marke.
White his shrowd as the mountaine snow.
2775
Enter King.
Quee. Alas looke heere my Lord.
2780Oph.
Larded all with sweet flowers,
Which beweept to the ground did not go
Song.
With true loue showers.
King. How doe you pretty Lady?
Oph. Well good dild you, they say the Owle was a Bakers daugh-
2785ter, Lord we know what we are, but know not what we may be.
God be at your table.
King. Conceit vpon her Father.
Oph. Pray lets haue no words of this, but when they aske you
what it meanes, say you this.
2790
To morrow is S. Valentines day,
Song.
All in the morning betime,
And I a mayde at your window
To be your Valentine.
Then vp he rose, and dond his close, and dupt the chamber doore,
Let in the maide, that out a maide, neuer departed more.
King. Pretty Ophelia.
2795Oph. Indeede without an oath Ile make an end on't,
By gis and by Saint Charitie,
alack and fie for shame,
Young men will doo't if they come too't,
by Cock they are too blame.
2800Quoth she, Before you tumbled me, you promisd me to wed,
(He answers.) So would I a done by yonder sunne
And thou hadst not come to my bed.
King. How long hath she beene thus?
2805Oph. I hope all will be well, we must be patient, but I cannot chuse
but weepe to thinke they would lay him i'th cold ground, my brother
shall know of it, and so I thanke you for your good counsaile. Come
my Coach, God night Ladies, god night.
Sweet Ladyes god night, god night.
King. Follow her close, giue her good watch I pray you.
O this is the poyson of deepe griefe, it springs all from her Fathers
death, and now behold, ô Gertrard, Gertrard,
2815When sorrowes come, they come not single spyes,
But in battalians: first her Father slaine,
Next, your sonne gone, and he most violent Author
Of his owne iust remoue, the people muddied
Thick and vnwholsome in thoughts, and whispers
2820For good Polonius death: and we haue done but greenly
In hugger mugger to inter him: poore Ophelia
Deuided from herselfe, and her faire iudgement,
VVithout the which we are pictures, or meere beasts,
Last, and as much contayning as all these,
2825Her brother is in secret come from Fraunce,
Feeds on this wonder, keepes himselfe in clowdes,
And wants not buzzers to infect his eare
With pestilent speeches of his fathers death,
Wherein necessity of matter beggerd,
2830Will nothing stick our person to arraigne
In eare and eare: ô my deare Gertrard, this
Like to a murdring peece in many places
Giues me superfluous death.
A noise within.
Enter a Messenger.
King. Attend, where is my Swissers, let them guard the doore,
What is the matter?
Messen. Saue your selfe my Lord.
The Ocean ouer-peering of his list
2840Eates not the flats with more impitious hast
Then young Laertes in a riotous head
Ore-beares your Officers: the rabble call him Lord,
And as the world were now but to beginne,
Antiquity forgot, custome not knowne,
2845The ratifiers and props of euery word,
The cry choose we, Laertes shall be King,
Caps, hands, and tongues applau'd it to the clouds,
Laertes shall be King, Laertes King.
Quee. How cheerefully on the false traile they cry.
A noise within.
2850O this is counter you false Danish dogges.
Enter Laertes with others.
King. The doores are broke.
Laer. Where is this King? sirs stand you all without.
All. No lets come in.
2855Laer. I pray you giue me leaue.
All. VVe will, we will.
Laer. I thanke you, keepe the doore, ô thou vile King,
Giue me my father.
Quee. Calmely good Laertes.
2860Laer. That drop of blood thats calme proclames me Bastard,
Cries cuckold to my father, brands the Harlot
Euen heere betweene the chast vnsmirched browe
Of my true mother.
2865King. VVhat is the cause Laertes
That thy rebellion lookes so gyant like?
Let him goe Gertrard, doe not feare our person,
There's such diuinitie doth hedge a King,
That treason can but peepe to what it would,
2870Act's little of his will, tell me Laertes
Why thou art thus incenst, let him goe Gertrard.
Speake man.
Laer. Where is my father?
King. Dead.
2875Quee. But not by him.
King. Let him demaund his fill.
Laer. How came he dead, I'le not be iugled with,
To hell allegiance, vowes to the blackest deuill,
Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit
2880I dare damnation, to this poynt I stand,
That both the worlds I giue to negligence,
Let come what comes, onely I'le be reueng'd
Most throughly for my father.
King. Who shall stay you?
2885Laer. My will, not all the worlds:
And for my meanes I'le husband them so well,
They shall goe farre with little.
King. Good Laertes, if you desire to know the certainty
2890Of your deere Father, i'st writ in your reuenge,
That soopstake, you will draw both friend and foe
Winner and looser.
Laer. None but his enemies,
King. Will you know them then?
2895Laer. To his good friends thus wide I'le ope my armes,
And like the kind life-rendring Pelican,
Repast them with my blood.
King. Why now you speake
Like a good child, and a true Gentleman.
2900That I am guiltlesse of your fathers death,
And am most sencibly in griefe for it,
It shall as leuell to your iudgement peare
As day dooes to your eye.
A noyse within.
2905
Enter Ophelia
Laer. Let her come in.
How now, what noyse is that?
O heate, dry vp my braines, teares seauen times salt
Burne out the sence and vertue of mine eye,
By heauen thy madnes shall be payd with weight
2910Tell our scale turne the beame. O Rose of May,
Deere mayd, kind sister, sweet Ophelia,
O heauens, ist possible a young maids wits
Should be as mortall as a poore mans life.
Oph.
They bore him bare-faste on the Beere,
Song.
And in his graue rain'd many a teare,
2920Fare you well my Doue.
Laer. Hadst thou thy wits, and did'st perswade reuenge
It could not mooue thus.
Oph. You must sing a downe a downe,
And you call him a downe a. O how the wheele becomes it,
It is the false Steward that stole his Maisters daughter.
Laer. This nothing's more then matter.
Oph. There's Rosemary, thats for remembrance, pray you loue re-
member, and there is Pancies, thats for thoughts.
2930Laer. A document in madnes, thoughts and remembrance fitted.
Ophe. There's Fennill for you, and Colembines, there's Rewe for
you, & heere's some for me, we may call it herbe of Grace a Sondaies,
you may weare your Rewe with a difference, there's a Dasie, I would
2935giue you some Violets, but they witherd all when my Father dyed,
they say a made a good end.
For bonny sweet Robin is all my ioy.
Laer. Thought and afflictions, passion, hell it selfe
2940She turnes to fauour and to prettines.
Oph.
And wil a not come againe,
Song.
And wil a not come againe,
No, no, he is dead, goe to thy death bed,
He neuer will come againe.
2945His beard was as white as snow,
Flaxen was his pole,
He is gone, he is gone, and we cast away mone,
God a mercy on his soule,
and of all Christians soules,
2950God buy you.
Laer. Doe you this ô God.
King. Laertes, I must commune with your griefe,
Or you deny me right, goe but apart,
Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will,
2955And they shall heare and iudge twixt you and me,
If by direct, or by colaturall hand
They find vs toucht, we will our kingdome giue,
Our crowne, our life, and all that we call ours
To you in satisfaction; but if not,
2960Be you content to lend your patience to vs,
And we shall ioyntly labour with your soule
To giue it due content.
Laer. Let this be so.
His meanes of death, his obscure funerall,
2965No trophe sword, nor hatchment ore his bones,
No noble right, nor formall ostentation,
Cry to be heard as twere from heauen to earth,
That I must call't in question.
King. So you shall,
2970And where th'offence is, let the great axe fall.
I pray you goe with me.
Exeunt.
Enter Horatio and others.
Hora. VVhat are they that would speake with me?
Gent. Sea-faring men sir, they say they haue Letters for you.
2975Hor. Let them come in.
I doe not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted. If not from Lord Hamlet.
Enter Saylers.
Say. God blesse you sir.
2980Hora. Let him blesse thee to.
Say. A shall sir and please him, there's a Letter for you sir, it came
frō th'Embassador that was bound for England, if your name be Ho-
ratio, as I am let to know it is.
Hor. Horatio, when thou shalt haue ouer-lookt this, giue these fel-
lowes some meanes to the King, they haue Letters for him: Ere wee
were two daies old at Sea, a Pyrat of very warlike appointment gaue
vs chase, finding our selues too slow of saile, wee put on a compelled
2990valour, and in the grapple I boorded them, on the instant they got
cleere of our shyp, so I alone became theyr prisoner, they haue dealt
with me like thieues of mercie, but they knew what they did, I am to
doe a turne for them, let the King haue the Letters I haue sent, and
2995repayre thou to me with as much speede as thou wouldest flie death,
I haue wordes to speake in thine eare will make thee dumbe, yet are
they much too light for the bord of the matter, these good fellowes
will bring thee where I am, Rosencraus and Guyldensterne hold theyr
course for England, of them I haue much to tell thee, farewell.
So that thou knowest thine Hamlet.
Hor. Come I will you way for these your letters,
And doo't the speedier that you may direct me
3005To him from whom you brought them.
Exeunt.
Enter King and Laertes.
King. Now must your conscience my acquittance seale,
And you must put me in your hart for friend,
Sith you haue heard and with a knowing eare,
3010That he which hath your noble father slaine
Pursued my life.
Laer. It well appeares: but tell mee
Why you proceede not against these feates
So criminall and so capitall in nature,
3015As by your safetie, greatnes, wisdome, all things els
You mainely were stirr'd vp.
King. O for two speciall reasons
Which may to you perhaps seeme much vnsinnow'd,
But yet to mee tha'r strong, the Queene his mother
3020Liues almost by his lookes, and for my selfe,
My vertue or my plague, be it eyther which,
She is so concliue to my life and soule,
That as the starre mooues not but in his sphere
I could not but by her, the other motiue,
3025Why to a publique count I might not goe,
Is the great loue the generall gender beare him,
Who dipping all his faults in theyr affection,
Worke like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
Conuert his Giues to graces, so that my arrowes
3030Too slightly tymberd for so loued Arm'd,
Would haue reuerted to my bowe againe,
But not where I haue aym'd them.
Laer. And so haue I a noble father lost,
A sister driuen into desprat termes,
3035Whose worth, if prayses may goe backe againe
Stood challenger on mount of all the age
For her perfections, but my reuenge will come.
King. Breake not your sleepes for that, you must not thinke
3040That we are made of stuffe so flat and dull,
That we can let our beard be shooke with danger,
And thinke it pastime, you shortly shall heare more,
I loued your father, and we loue our selfe,
And that I hope will teach you to imagine.
3045
Enter a Messenger with Letters.
Messen. These to your Maiestie, this to the Queene.
King. From Hamlet, who brought them?
3050Mess. Saylers my Lord they say, I saw them not,
They were giuen me by Claudio, he receiued them
3051.1Of him that brought them.
King. Laertes you shall heare them: leaue vs.
High and mighty, you shall know I am set naked on your kingdom,
3055to morrow shall I begge leaue to see your kingly eyes, when I shal first
asking you pardon, there-vnto recount the occasion of my suddaine
returne.
King. What should this meane, are all the rest come backe,
3060Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?
Laer. Know you the hand?
King. Tis Hamlets caracter. Naked,
And in a postscript heere he sayes alone,
Can you deuise me?
Laer. I am lost in it my Lord, but let him come,
3065It warmes the very sicknes in my hart
That I liue and tell him to his teeth
Thus didst thou.
King. If it be so Laertes,
As how should it be so, how otherwise,
Will you be rul'd by me?
3070Laer. I my Lord, so you will not ore-rule me to a peace.
King. To thine owne peace, if he be now returned
As the King at his voyage, and that he meanes
No more to vndertake it, I will worke him
To an exployt, now ripe in my deuise,
3075Vnder the which he shall not choose but fall:
And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe,
But euen his Mother shall vncharge the practise,
And call it accedent.
3078.1Laer. My Lord I will be rul'd,
The rather if you could deuise it so
That I might be the organ.
King. It falls right,
.5You haue beene talkt of since your trauaile much,
And that in Hamlets hearing, for a qualitie
Wherein they say you shine, your summe of parts
Did not together plucke such enuie from him
As did that one, and that in my regard
.10Of the vnworthiest siedge.
Laer. What part is that my Lord?
King. A very ribaud in the cap of youth,
Yet needfull to, for youth no lesse becomes
The light and carelesse liuery that it weares
.15Then setled age, his sables, and his weedes
Importing health and grauenes; two months since
Heere was a gentleman of Normandy,
3080I haue seene my selfe, and seru'd against the French,
And they can well on horsebacke, but this gallant
Had witch-craft in't, he grew vnto his seate,
And to such wondrous dooing brought his horse,
As had he beene incorp'st, and demy natur'd
3085With the braue beast, so farre he topt me thought,
That I in forgerie of shapes and tricks
Come short of what he did.
Laer. A Norman wast?
King. A Norman.
3090Laer. Vppon my life Lamord.
King. The very same.
Laer. I know him well, he is the brooch indeed
And Iem of all the Nation.
King. He made confession of you,
3095And gaue you such a masterly report
For art and exercise in your defence,
And for your Rapier most especiall,
That he cride out t'would be a sight indeed
If one could match you; the Scrimures of their nation
3099.1He swore had neither motion, guard, nor eye,
If you opposd them; sir this report of his
3100Did Hamlet so enuenom with his enuy,
That he could nothing doe but wish and beg
Your sodaine comming ore to play with you.
Now out of this.
Laer. What out of this my Lord?
3105King. Laertes was your father deare to you?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrowe,
A face without a hart?
Laer. Why aske you this?
King. Not that I thinke you did not loue your father,
3110But that I knowe, loue is begunne by time,
And that I see in passages of proofe,
Time qualifies the sparke and fire of it,
3112.1There liues within the very flame of loue
A kind of weeke or snufe that will abate it,
And nothing is at a like goodnes still,
For goodnes growing to a plurisie,
.5Dies in his owne too much, that we would doe
We should doe when we would: for this would changes,
And hath abatements and delayes as many,
As there are tongues, are hands, are accedents,
And then this should is like a spend thirfts sigh,
.10That hurts by easing; but to the quick of th'vlcer,
Hamlet comes back, what would you vndertake
To showe your selfe indeede your fathers sonne
3115More then in words?
Laer. To cut his thraot i'th Church.
King. No place indeede should murther sanctuarise,
Reuendge should haue no bounds: but good Laertes
Will you doe this, keepe close within your chamber,
3120Hamlet return'd, shall knowe you are come home,
Weele put on those shall praise your excellence,
And set a double varnish on the fame
The french man gaue you, bring you in fine together
And wager ore your heads; he being remisse,
3125Most generous, and free from all contriuing,
Will not peruse the foyles, so that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword vnbated, and in a pace of practise
Requite him for your Father.
3130Laer. I will doo't,
And for purpose, Ile annoynt my sword.
I bought an vnction of a Mountibanck
So mortall, that but dippe a knife in it,
Where it drawes blood, no Cataplasme so rare,
3135Collected from all simples that haue vertue
Vnder the Moone, can saue the thing from death
That is but scratcht withall, Ile tutch my point
With this contagion, that if I gall him slightly, it may be death.
3140King. Lets further thinke of this.
Wey what conuenience both of time and meanes
May fit vs to our shape if this should fayle,
And that our drift looke through our bad performance,
Twere better not assayd, therefore this proiect,
3145Should haue a back or second that might hold
If this did blast in proofe; soft let me see,
Wee'le make a solemne wager on your cunnings,
I hate, when in your motion you are hote and dry,
As make your bouts more violent to that end,
3150And that he calls for drinke, Ile haue prefard him
A Challice for the nonce, whereon but sipping,
If he by chaunce escape your venom'd stuck,
Our purpose may hold there; but stay, what noyse?
Enter Queene.
3155Quee. One woe doth tread vpon anothers heele,
So fast they follow; your Sisters drownd Laertes.
Laer. Drown'd, ô where?
Quee. There is a Willow growes ascaunt the Brooke
That showes his horry leaues in the glassy streame,
3160Therewith fantastique garlands did she make
Of Crowflowers, Nettles, Daises, and long Purples
That liberall Shepheards giue a grosser name,
But our cull-cold maydes doe dead mens fingers call them.
There on the pendant boughes her cronet weedes
3165Clambring to hang, an enuious sliuer broke,
When downe her weedy trophies and her selfe
Fell in the weeping Brooke, her clothes spred wide,
And Marmaide like awhile they bore her vp,
Which time she chaunted snatches of old laudes,
3170As one incapable of her owne distresse,
Or like a creature natiue and indewed
Vnto that elament, but long it could not be
Till that her garments heauy with theyr drinke,
Puld the poore wretch from her melodious lay
3175To muddy death.
Laer. Alas, then she is drownd.
Quee. Drownd, drownd.
Laer. Too much of water hast thou poore Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my teares; but yet
3180It is our tricke, nature her custome holds,
Let shame say what it will, when these are gone,
The woman will be out. Adiew my Lord,
I haue a speech a fire that faine would blase,
But that this folly drownes it.
Exit.
3185King. Let's follow Gertrard,
How much I had to doe to calme his rage,
Now feare I this will giue it start againe,
Therefore lets follow.
Exeunt.
Enter two Clownes.
3190Clowne. Is shee to be buried in Christian buriall, when she wilfully
seekes her owne saluation?
Other. I tell thee she is, therfore make her graue straight, the crow-
ner hath sate on her, and finds it Christian buriall.
3195Clowne. How can that be, vnlesse she drown'd herselfe in her owne
defence.
Other. Why tis found so.
Clowne. It must be so offended, it cannot be els, for heere lyes the
poynt, if I drowne my selfe wittingly, it argues an act, & an act hath
3200three branches, it is to act, to doe, to performe, or all; she drownd her
selfe wittingly.
Other. Nay, but heare you good man deluer.
Clowne. Giue mee leaue, here lyes the water, good, here stands the
3205man, good, if the man goe to this water & drowne himselfe, it is will
he, nill he, he goes, marke you that, but if the water come to him, &
drowne him, he drownes not himselfe, argall, he that is not guilty of
his owne death, shortens not his owne life.
3210Other. But is this law?
Clowne. I marry i'st, Crowners quest law.
Other. Will you ha the truth an't, if this had not beene a gentlewo-
man, she should haue been buried out a christian buriall.
3215Clowne. Why there thou sayst, and the more pitty that great folke
should haue countnaunce in this world to drowne or hang thēselues,
more then theyr euen Christen: Come my spade, there is no aunci-
ent gentlemen but Gardners, Ditchers, and Grauemakers, they hold
vp Adams profession.
Other. Was he a gentleman?
Clowne. A was the first that euer bore Armes.
Ile put another question to thee, if thou answerest me not to the pur-
pose, confesse thy selfe.
Other. Goe to.
3230Clow. What is he that builds stronger then eyther the Mason, the
Shypwright, or the Carpenter.
Other. The gallowes maker, for that out-liues a thousand tenants.
Clowne. I like thy wit well in good fayth, the gallowes dooes well,
3235but howe dooes it well? It dooes well to those that do ill, nowe thou
doost ill to say the gallowes is built stronger then the Church, argall,
the gallowes may doo well to thee. Too't againe, come.
Other. VVho buildes stronger then a Mason, a Shipwright, or a
3240Carpenter.
Clowne. I, tell me that and vnyoke.
Other. Marry now I can tell.
Clowne. Too't.
Other. Masse I cannot tell.
Clow. Cudgell thy braines no more about it, for your dull asse wil
not mend his pace with beating, and when you are askt this question
next, say a graue-maker, the houses hee makes lasts till Doomesday.
Goe get thee in, and fetch mee a soope of liquer.
In youth when I did loue did loue,
Song.
Me thought it was very sweet
To contract ô the time for a my behoue,
3255O me thought there a was nothing a meet.
Enter Hamlet and Horatio.
Ham. Has this fellowe no feeling of his busines? a sings in graue-
making.
Hora. Custome hath made it in him a propertie of easines.
3260Ham. Tis een so, the hand of little imploiment hath the dintier sence
Clow.
But age with his stealing steppes
Song.
hath clawed me in his clutch,
3265And hath shipped me into the land,
as if I had neuer been such.
Ham. That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once, how the
knaue iowles it to the ground, as if twere Caines iawbone, that did the
first murder, this might be the pate of a pollitician, which this asse now
3270ore-reaches; one that would circumuent God, might it not?
Hora. It might my Lord.
Ham. Or of a Courtier, which could say good morrow sweet lord,
how doost thou sweet lord? This might be my Lord such a one, that
3275praised my lord such a ones horse when a went to beg it, might it not?
Hor. I my Lord.
Ham. Why een so, & now my Lady wormes Choples, & knockt
about the massene with a Sextens spade; heere's fine reuolution and
3280we had the tricke to see't, did these bones cost no more the breeding,
but to play at loggits with them: mine ake to thinke on't.
Clow.
A pickax and a spade a spade,
Song.
for and a shrowding sheet,
O a pit of Clay for to be made
for such a guest is meet.
Ham. There's another, why may not that be the skull of a Lawyer,
3290where be his quiddities now, his quillites, his cases, his tenurs, and his
tricks? why dooes he suffer this madde knaue now to knocke him a-
bout the sconce with a durtie shouell, and will not tell him of his acti-
on of battery, hum, this fellowe might be in's time a great buyer of
3295Land, with his Statuts, his recognisances, his fines, his double vou-
chers, his recoueries, to haue his fine pate full of fine durt, will vou-
chers vouch him no more of his purchases & doubles then the length
3300and breadth of a payre of Indentures? The very conueyances of his
Lands will scarcely lye in this box, & must th'inheritor himselfe haue
no more, ha.
Hora. Not a iot more my Lord.
3305Ham. Is not Parchment made of sheepe-skinnes?
Hora. I my Lord, and of Calues-skinnes to.
Ham. They are Sheepe and Calues which seeke out assurance in
that, I wil speak to this fellow. Whose graue's this sirra?
3310Clow. Mine sir, or a pit of clay for to be made.
Ham. I thinke it be thine indeede, for thou lyest in't.
Clow. You lie out ont sir, and therefore tis not yours; for my part I
3315doe not lie in't, yet it is mine.
Ham. Thou doost lie in't to be in't & say it is thine, tis for the dead,
not for the quicke, therefore thou lyest.
Clow. Tis a quicke lye sir, twill away againe from me to you.
Ham. What man doost thou digge it for?
Clow. For no man sir.
Ham. What woman then?
Clow. For none neither.
3325Ham. Who is to be buried in't?
Clow. One that was a woman sir, but rest her soule shee's dead.
Ham. How absolute the knaue is, we must speake by the card, or
equiuocation will vndoo vs. By the Lord Horatio, this three yeeres I
3330haue tooke note of it, the age is growne so picked, that the toe of the
pesant coms so neere the heele of the Courtier he galls his kybe. How
long hast thou been Graue-maker?
Clow. Of the dayes i'th yere I came too't that day that our last king
3335Hamlet ouercame Fortenbrasse.
Ham. How long is that since?
Clow. Cannot you tell that? euery foole can tell that, it was that
very day that young Hamlet was borne: hee that is mad and sent into
England.
3340Ham. I marry, why was he sent into England?
Clow. Why because a was mad: a shall recouer his wits there, or if
a doo not, tis no great matter there.
Ham. Why?
Clow. Twill not be seene in him there, there the men are as mad
Ham. How came he mad?
Clow. Very strangely they say.
Ham. How strangely?
Clow. Fayth eene with loosing his wits.
3350Ham. Vpon what ground?
Clow. Why heere in Denmarke: I haue been Sexten heere man
and boy thirty yeeres.
Ham. How long will a man lie i'th earth ere he rot?
Clow. Fayth if a be not rotten before a die, as we haue many poc-
3355kie corses, that will scarce hold the laying in, a will last you som eyght
yeere, or nine yeere. A Tanner will last you nine yeere.
Ham. Why he more then another?
Clow. Why sir, his hide is so tand with his trade, that a will keepe
3360out water a great while; & your water is a sore decayer of your whor-
son dead body, heer's a scull now hath lyen you i'th earth 23. yeeres.
Ham. Whose was it?
Clow. A whorson mad fellowes it was, whose do you think it was?
Ham. Nay I know not.
Clow. A pestilence on him for a madde rogue, a pourd a flagon of
Renish on my head once; this same skull sir, was sir Yoricks skull, the
Kings Iester.
3370Ham. This?
Clow. Een that.
Ham. Alas poore Yoricke, I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite
iest, of most excellent fancie, hee hath bore me on his backe a thou-
sand times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is: my gorge
3375rises at it. Heere hung those lyppes that I haue kist I know not howe
oft, where be your gibes now? your gamboles, your songs, your fla-
shes of merriment, that were wont to set the ta
ble on a roare, not one
now to mocke your owne grinning, quite chopfalne. Now get you
3380to my Ladies table, & tell her, let her paint an inch thicke, to this fa-
uour she must come, make her laugh at that.
Prethee Horatio tell me one thing.
Hora. What's that my Lord?
3385Ham. Doost thou thinke Alexander lookt a this fashion i'th earth?
Hora. Een so.
Ham. And smelt so pah.
Hora. Een so my Lord.
3390Ham. To what base vses wee may returne Horatio? Why may not
imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till a find it stopping
a bunghole?
Hor. Twere to consider too curiously to consider so.
Ham. No faith, not a iot, but to follow him thether with modesty
3395enough, and likelyhood to leade it. Alexander dyed, Alexander was
buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth vvee
make Lome, & why of that Lome whereto he was conuerted, might
they not stoppe a Beare-barrell?
3400Imperious sar dead, and turn'd to Clay,
Might stoppe a hole, to keepe the wind away.
O that that earth which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a wall t'expell the waters flaw.
But soft, but soft awhile, here comes the King,
Enter K. Q.
The Queene, the Courtiers, who is this they follow?
Laertes and
And with such maimed rites? this doth betoken,
The corse they follow, did with desprat hand
3410Foredoo it owne life, twas of some estate,
Couch we a while and marke.
Laer. What Ceremonie els?
Ham. That is Laertes a very noble youth, marke.
Laer. What Ceremonie els?
3415Doct. Her obsequies haue been as farre inlarg'd
As we haue warrantie, her death was doubtfull,
And but that great commaund ore-swayes the order,
She should in ground vnsanctified been lodg'd
Till the last trumpet: for charitable prayers,
3420Flints and peebles should be throwne on her:
Yet heere she is allow'd her virgin Crants,
Her mayden strewments, and the bringing home
Of bell and buriall.
Laer. Must there no more be doone?
3425Doct. No more be doone.
We should prophane the seruice of the dead,
To sing a Requiem and such rest to her
As to peace-parted soules.
Laer. Lay her i'th earth,
3430And from her faire and vnpolluted flesh
May Violets spring: I tell thee churlish Priest,
A ministring Angell shall my sister be
When thou lyest howling.
Ham. What, the faire Ophelia.
3435Quee. Sweets to the sweet, farewell,
I hop't thou should'st haue been my Hamlets wife,
I thought thy bride-bed to haue deckt sweet maide,
And not haue strew'd thy graue.
Laer. O treble woe
3440Fall tenne times double on that cursed head,
Whose wicked deede thy most ingenious sence
Depriued thee of, hold off the earth a while,
Till I haue caught her once more in mine armes;
3445Now pile your dust vpon the quicke and dead,
Till of this flat a mountaine you haue made
To'retop old Pelion, or the skyesh head
Of blew Olympus.
Ham. What is he whose griefe
3450Beares such an emphesis, whose phrase of sorrow
Coniures the wandring starres, and makes them stand
Like wonder wounded hearers: this is I
Hamlet the Dane.
Laer. The deuill take thy soule.
3455Ham. Thou pray'st not well, I prethee take thy fingers
For though I am not spleenatiue rash,
Yet haue I in me something dangerous,
Which let thy wisedome feare; hold off thy hand,
3460King. Pluck them a sunder.
Quee. Hamlet, Hamlet.
3461.1All. Gentlemen.
Hora. Good my Lord be quiet.
Ham. Why, I will fight with him vpon this theame
Vntill my eye-lids will no longer wagge.
3465Quee. O my sonne, what theame?
Ham. I loued Ophelia, forty thousand brothers
Could not with all theyr quantitie of loue
Make vp my summe. What wilt thou doo for her.
King. O he is mad Laertes.
3470Quee. For loue of God forbeare him.
Ham. S'wounds shew me what th'owt doe:
Woo't weepe, woo't fight, woo't fast, woo't teare thy selfe,
Woo't drinke vp Esill, eate a Crocadile?
Ile doo't, doost come heere to whine?
3475To out-face me with leaping in her graue,
Be buried quicke with her, and so will I.
And if thou prate of mountaines, let them throw
Millions of Acres on vs, till our ground
Sindging his pate against the burning Zone
3480Make Ossa like a wart, nay and thou'lt mouthe,
Ile rant as well as thou.
Quee. This is meere madnesse,
And this a while the fit will worke on him,
Anon as patient as the female Doue
3485When that her golden cuplets are disclosed
His silence will sit drooping.
Ham. Heare you sir,
What is the reason that you vse me thus?
I lou'd you euer, but it is no matter,
3490Let Hercules himselfe doe what he may
The Cat will mew, and Dogge will haue his day.
Exit Hamlet
King. I pray thee good Horatio waite vpon him.
Strengthen your patience in our last nights speech,
Weele put the matter to the present push:
3495Good Gertrard set some watch ouer your sonne,
This graue shall haue a liuing monument,
An houre of quiet thereby shall we see
Tell then in patience our proceeding be.
Exeunt.
Enter Hamlet and Horatio.
3500Ham. So much for this sir, now shall you see the other,
You doe remember all the circumstance.
Hora. Remember it my Lord.
Ham. Sir in my hart there was a kind of fighting
That would not let me sleepe, my thought I lay
3505Worse then the mutines in the bilbo, rashly,
And praysd be rashnes for it: let vs knowe,
Our indiscretion sometime serues vs well
When our deepe plots doe fall, & that should learne vs
Ther's a diuinity that shapes our ends,
3510Rough hew them how we will.
Hora. That is most certaine.
Ham. Vp from my Cabin,
My sea-gowne scarft about me in the darke
Gropt I to find out them, had my desire,
3515Fingard their packet, and in fine with-drew
To mine owne roome againe, making so bold
My feares forgetting manners to vnfold
Their graund commission; where I found Horatio
A royall knauery, an exact command
3520Larded with many seuerall sorts of reasons,
Importing Denmarkes health, and Englands to,
With hoe such bugges and goblines in my life,
That on the superuise no leasure bated,
No not to stay the grinding of the Axe,
3525My head should be strooke off.
Hora. I'st possible?
Ham. Heeres the commission, read it at more leasure,
But wilt thou heare now how I did proceed.
Hora. I beseech you.
3530Ham. Being thus benetted round with villaines,
Or I could make a prologue to my braines,
They had begunne the play, I sat me downe,
Deuisd a new commission, wrote it faire,
I once did hold it as our statists doe,
3535A basenesse to write faire, and labourd much
How to forget that learning, but sir now
It did me yemans seruice, wilt thou know
Th'effect of what I wrote?
Hora. I good my Lord.
3540Ham. An earnest coniuration from the King,
As England was his faithfull tributary,
As loue betweene them like the palme might florish,
As peace should still her wheaten garland weare
And stand a Comma tweene their amities,
3545And many such like, as sir of great charge,
That on the view, and knowing of these contents,
Without debatement further more or lesse,
He should those bearers put to suddaine death,
Not shriuing time alow'd.
3550Hora. How was this seald?
Ham. Why euen in that was heauen ordinant,
I had my fathers signet in my purse
Which was the modill of that Danish seale,
Folded the writ vp in the forme of th'other,
3555Subcribe it, gau't th'impression, plac'd it safely,
The changling neuer knowne: now the next day
Was our Sea fight, and what to this was sequent
Thou knowest already.
Hora. So Guyldensterne and Rosencraus goe too't.
Ham. They are not neere my conscience, their defeat
Dooes by their owne insinnuation growe,
Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
Betweene the passe and fell incenced points
3565Of mighty opposits.
Hora. Why what a King is this!
Ham. Dooes it not thinke thee stand me now vppon?
He that hath kild my King, and whor'd my mother,
Pop't in betweene th'election and my hopes,
3570Throwne out his Angle for my proper life,
And with such cusnage, i'st not perfect conscience?
Enter a Courtier.
Cour. Your Lordship is right welcome backe to Denmarke.
Ham. I humble thanke you sir.
Doost know this water fly?
Hora. No my good Lord.
3590Ham. Thy state is the more gracious, for tis a vice to know him,
He hath much land and fertill: let a beast be Lord of beasts, and his
crib shall stand at the Kings messe, tis a chough, but as I say, spaci-
ous in the possession of durt.
3595Cour. Sweete Lord, if your Lordshippe were at leasure, I should
impart a thing to you from his Maiestie.
Ham. I will receaue it sir withall dilligence of spirit, your bonnet
to his right vse, tis for the head.
Cour. I thanke your Lordship, it is very hot.
3600Ham. No belieue me, tis very cold, the wind is Northerly.
Cour. It is indefferent cold my Lord indeed.
Ham. But yet me thinkes it is very sully and hot, or my complec-
tion.
3605Cour. Exceedingly my Lord, it is very soultery, as t'were I can-
not tell how: my Lord his Maiestie bad me signifie to you, that a
has layed a great wager on your head, sir this is the matter.
Ham. I beseech you remember.
3610Cour. Nay good my Lord for my ease in good faith, sir here is newly
3610.1com to Court Laertes, belieue me an absolute gentlemen, ful of most
excellent differences, of very soft society, and great showing : in-
deede to speake sellingly of him, hee is the card or kalender of gen-
try: for you shall find in him the continent of what part a Gentle-
.5man would see.
Ham. Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you, though I
know to deuide him inuentorially, would dazzie th'arithmaticke of
memory, and yet but raw neither, in respect of his quick saile, but
in the veritie of extolment, I take him to be a soule of great article,
.10& his infusion of such dearth and rarenesse, as to make true dixion
of him, his semblable is his mirrour, & who els would trace him, his
vmbrage, nothing more.
Cour. Your Lordship speakes most infallibly of him.
Ham. The concernancy sir, why doe we wrap the gentleman in
.15our more rawer breath?
Cour. Sir.
Hora. Ist not possible to vnderstand in another tongue, you will
doo't sir really.
Ham. What imports the nomination of this gentleman.
.20Cour. Of Laertes.
Hora. His purse is empty already, all's golden words are spent.
Ham. Of him sir.
Cour. I know you are not ignorant.
Ham. I would you did sir, yet in faith if you did, it would not
.25much approoue me, well sir.
Cour. You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is.
3612.1Ham. I dare not confesse that, least I should compare with
him in excellence, but to know a man wel, were to knowe himselfe.
Cour. I meane sir for this weapon, but in the imputation laide on
him, by them in his meed, hee's vnfellowed.
Ham. What's his weapon?
Cour. Rapier and Dagger.
3615Ham. That's two of his weapons, but well.
Cour. The King sir hath wagerd with him six Barbary horses,
againgst the which hee has impaund as I take it six French Rapiers
and Poynards, with their assignes, as girdle, hanger and so. Three
of the carriages in faith, are very deare to fancy, very reponsiue to
3620the hilts, most delicate carriages, and of very liberall conceit.
Ham. What call you the carriages?
3622.1Hora. I knew you must be edified by the margent ere you had
done.
Cour. The carriage sir are the hangers.
Ham. The phrase would bee more Ierman to the matter if wee
3625could carry a cannon by our sides, I would it be might hangers till
then, but on, six Barbry horses against six French swords their as-
signes, and three liberall conceited carriages, that's the French
bet against the Danish, why is this all you call it?
3630Cour. The King sir, hath layd sir, that in a dozen passes betweene
your selfe and him, hee shall not exceede you three hits, hee hath
layd on twelue for nine, and it would come to immediate triall, if
your Lordshippe would vouchsafe the answere.
3635Ham. How if I answere no?
Cour. I meane my Lord the opposition of your person in triall.
Ham. Sir I will walke heere in the hall, if it please his Maiestie, it
is the breathing time of day with me, let the foiles be brought, the
3640Gentleman willing, and the King hold his purpose; I will winne
for him and I can, if not, I will gaine nothing but my shame, and
the odde hits.
Cour. Shall I deliuer you so?
Ham. To this effect sir, after what florish your nature will.
Cour. I commend my duty to your Lordshippe.
Ham. Yours doo's well to commend it himselfe, there are no
tongues els for's turne.
Hora. This Lapwing runnes away with the shell on his head.
Ham. A did so sir with his dugge before a suckt it, thus has he and
many more of the same breede that I know the drossy age dotes on,
only got the tune of the time, and out of an habit of incounter, a
kind of histy colection, which carries them through and through
the most prophane and trennowed opinions, and doe but blowe
them to their triall, the bubbles are out.
3657.1
Enter a Lord.
Lord. My Lord, his Maiestie commended him to you by young
Ostricke, who brings backe to him that you attend him in the hall,
he sends to know if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that
.5you will take longer time?
Ham. I am constant to my purposes, they followe the Kings plea-
sure, if his fitnes speakes, mine is ready: now or whensoeuer, pro-
uided I be so able as now.
Lord. The King, and Queene, and all are comming downe.
.10Ham. In happy time.
Lord. The Queene desires you to vse some gentle entertainment
to Laertes, before you fall to play.
Ham. Shee well instructs me.
Hora. You will loose my Lord.
Ham. I doe not thinke so, since he went into France, I haue bene
3660in continuall practise, I shall winne at the ods; thou would'st not
thinke how ill all's heere about my hart, but it is no matter.
Hora. Nay good my Lord.
Ham. It is but foolery, but it is such a kinde of gamgiuing, as
3665would perhapes trouble a woman.
Hora. If your minde dislike any thing, obay it. I will forstal their
repaire hether, and say you are not fit.
Ham. Not a whit, we defie augury, there is speciall prouidence,in
the fall of a Sparrowe, if it be, tis not to come, if it be not to come,
3670it will be now, if it be not now, yet it well come, the readines is all,
since no man of ought he leaues, knowes what ist to leaue betimes,
3673.1let be.
A table prepard, Trumpets, Drums and officers with Cushions,
King, Queene, and all the state, Foiles, daggers,
and Laertes.
King. Come Hamlet, come and take this hand from me.
Ham. Giue me your pardon sir, I haue done you wrong,
But pardon't as you are a gentleman, this presence knowes,
And you must needs haue heard, how I am punnisht
With a sore distraction, what I haue done
That might your nature, honor, and exception
Roughly awake, I heare proclame was madnesse,
3685Wast Hamlet wronged Laertes? neuer Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himselfe be tane away,
And when hee's not himselfe, dooes wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet dooes it not, Hamlet denies it,
Who dooes it then? his madnesse. Ift be so,
3690Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged,
His madnesse is poore Hamlets enimie,
Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd euill,
Free me so farre in your most generous thoughts
3695That I haue shot my arrowe ore the house
And hurt my brother.
Laer. I am satisfied in nature,
Whose motiue in this case should stirre me most
To my reuendge, but in my tearmes of honor
3700I stand a loofe, and will no reconcilement,
Till by some elder Maisters of knowne honor
I haue a voyce and president of peace
To my name vngord: but all that time
I doe receaue your offerd loue, like loue,
3705And will not wrong it.
Ham. I embrace it freely, and will this brothers wager
franckly play.
Giue vs the foiles.
Laer. Come, one for me.
3710Ham. Ile be your foile Laertes, in mine ignorance
Your skill shall like a starre i'th darkest night
Stick fiery of indeed.
Laer. You mocke me sir.
Ham. No by this hand.
3715King. Giue them the foiles young Ostricke, cosin Hamlet,
You knowe the wager.
Ham. Very well my Lord.
Your grace has layed the ods a'th weeker side.
King. I doe not feare it, I haue seene you both,
But since he is better, we haue therefore ods.
Laer. This is to heauy: let me see another.
Ham. This likes me well, these foiles haue all a length.
Ostr. I my good Lord.
King. Set me the stoopes of wine vpon that table,
If Hamlet giue the first or second hit,
Or quit in answere of the third exchange,
3730Let all the battlements their ordnance fire.
The King shall drinke to Hamlets better breath,
And in the cup an Onixe shall he throwe,
Richer then that which foure successiue Kings
In Denmarkes Crowne haue worne: giue me the cups,
And let the kettle to the trumpet speake,
The trumpet to the Cannoneere without,
The Cannons to the heauens, the heauen to earth,
Now the King drinkes to Hamlet, come beginne.
Trumpets
3740And you the Iudges beare a wary eye.
Ham. Come on sir.
Laer. Come my Lord.
Ham. One.
Laer. No.
3745Ham. Iudgement.
Ostrick. A hit, a very palpable hit.
Drum, trumpets and shot.
Laer. Well, againe.
Florish, a peece goes off.
King. Stay, giue me drinke, Hamlet this pearle is thine.
3750Heeres to thy health: giue him the cup.
Ham. Ile play this bout first, set it by a while
Come, another hit.
What say you?
Laer. I doe confest.
3755King. Our sonne shall winne.
Quee. Hee's fat and scant of breath.
Heere Hamlet take my napkin rub thy browes,
The Queene carowses to thy fortune Hamlet.
Ham. Good Madam.
3760King. Gertrard doe not drinke.
Quee. I will my Lord, I pray you pardon me.
King. It is the poysned cup, it is too late.
Ham. I dare not drinke yet Madam, by and by.
Quee. Come, let me wipe thy face.
Laer. My Lord, Ile hit him now.
King. I doe not think't.
Laer. And yet it is almost against my conscience.
3770Ham. Come for the third Laertes, you doe but dally.
I pray you passe with your best violence
I am sure you make a wanton of me.
Laer. Say you so, come on.
3775Ostr. Nothing neither way.
Laer. Haue at you now.
King. Part them, they are incenst.
Ham. Nay come againe.
3780Ostr. Looke to the Queene there howe.
Hora. They bleed on both sides, how is it my Lord?
Ostr. How ist Laertes?
Laer. Why as a woodcock to mine owne sprindge Ostrick,
3785I am iustly kild with mine owne treachery.
Ham. How dooes the Queene?
King. Shee sounds to see them bleed.
Quee. No, no, the drinke, the drinke, ô my deare Hamlet,
The drinke the drinke, I am poysned.
Ham. O villanie, how let the doore be lock't,
Treachery, seeke it out.
Laer. It is heere Hamlet, thou art slaine,
3795No medcin in the world can doe thee good,
In thee there is not halfe an houres life,
The treacherous instrument is in my hand
Vnbated and enuenom'd, the foule practise
Hath turn'd it selfe on me, loe heere I lie
3800Neuer to rise againe, thy mother's poysned,
I can no more, the King, the Kings too blame.
Ham. The point inuenom'd to, then venome to thy worke.
3805All. Treason, treason.
King. O yet defend me friends, I am but hurt.
Ham. Heare thou incestious damned Dane,
Drinke of this potion, is the Onixe heere?
3810Follow my mother.
Laer. He is iustly serued, it is a poyson temperd by himselfe,
Exchange forgiuenesse with me noble Hamlet,
Mine and my fathers death come not vppon thee,
3815Nor thine on me.
Ham. Heauen make thee free of it, I follow thee;
I am dead Horatio, wretched Queene adiew.
You that looke pale, and tremble at this chance,
That are but mutes, or audience to this act,
3820Had I but time, as this fell sergeant Death
Is strict in his arrest, ô I could tell you,
But let it be; Horatio I am dead,
Thou liuest, report me and my cause a right
To the vnsatisfied.
3825Hora. Neuer belieue it;
I am more an anticke Romaine then a Dane,
Heere's yet some liquer left.
Ham. As th'art a man
Giue me the cup, let goe, by heauen Ile hate,
3830O god Horatio, what a wounded name
Things standing thus vnknowne, shall I leaue behind me?
If thou did'st euer hold me in thy hart,
Absent thee from felicity a while,
And in this harsh world drawe thy breath in paine
A march a
3835To tell my story: what warlike noise is this?
Enter Osrick.
Osr. Young Fortenbrasse with conquest come from Poland,
3840To th'embassadors of England giues this warlike volly.
Ham. O I die Horatio,
The potent poyson quite ore-crowes my spirit,
I cannot liue to heare the newes from England,
But I doe prophecie th'ellection lights
3845On Fortinbrasse, he has my dying voyce,
So tell him, with th'occurrants more and lesse
Which haue solicited, the rest is silence.
Hora. Now cracks a noble hart, good night sweete Prince,
3850And flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.
Why dooes the drum come hether?
Enter Fortenbrasse, with the Embassadors.
For. Where is this sight?
3855Hora. What is it you would see?
If ought of woe, or wonder, cease your search.
For. This quarry cries on hauock, ô prou'd death
What feast is toward in thine eternall cell,
That thou so many Princes at a shot
3860So bloudily hast strook?
Embas. The sight is dismall
And our affaires from England come too late,
The eares are sencelesse that should giue vs hearing,
To tell him his commandment is fulfild,
3865That Rosencraus and Guyldensterne are dead,
Where should we haue our thankes?
Hora. Not from his mouth
Had it th'ability of life to thanke you;
He neuer gaue commandement for their death;
3870But since so iump vpon this bloody question
You from the Pollack warres, and you from England
Are heere arriued, giue order that these bodies
High on a stage be placed to the view,
And let me speake, to yet vnknowing world
3875How these things came about; so shall you heare
Of carnall, bloody and vnnaturall acts,
Of accidentall iudgements, casuall slaughters,
Of deaths put on by cunning, and for no cause
And in this vpshot, purposes mistooke,
3880Falne on th'inuenters heads: all this can I
Truly deliuer.
For. Let vs hast to heare it,
And call the noblest to the audience,
For me, with sorrowe I embrace my fortune,
3885I haue some rights, of memory in this kingdome,
Which now to clame my vantage doth inuite me.
Hora. Of that I shall haue also cause to speake,
And from his mouth, whose voyce will drawe no more,
But let this same be presently perform'd
Euen while mens mindes are wilde, least more mischance
On plots and errores happen.
3895For. Let foure Captaines
Beare Hamlet like a souldier to the stage,
For he was likely, had he beene put on,
To haue prooued most royall; and for his passage,
3900The souldiers musicke and the right of warre
Speake loudly for him:
Take vp the bodies, such a sight as this,
Becomes the field, but heere showes much amisse.
Goe bid the souldiers shoote.
Exeunt.
FINIS.